Douglas A. Berman
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February 15, 2022
New Pew report spotlights “Drug Arrests Stayed Excessive Whilst Imprisonment Fell From 2009 to 2019”
The quoted a part of the title of this submit is the title of this awesome new “issue brief” from the oldsters at Pew. The complete doc deserves shut and repeated evaluate, as a result of there are tales each good and unhealthy about this efficient (pre-pandemic) accounting of the struggle on medicine. Right here is a part of the overview:
Fifty years in the past, President Richard Nixon declared drug abuse “public enemy No. 1,” and Congress handed laws that sought to develop remedy and analysis. Nevertheless, on the identical time, intensified enforcement launched what turned referred to as the “Conflict on Medicine.” The harsher penalties led to a 1,216% improve within the state jail inhabitants for drug offenses, from 19,000 to 250,000 between 1980 and 2008. And though jail populations have since declined, the variety of folks incarcerated for drug offenses stays considerably bigger than in 1980 — greater than 171,000 in 2019 — and drug misuse and its harms have continued to develop. Prior analysis has discovered that no relationship exists between state drug imprisonment charges and drug use or drug overdose deaths and that, from 2009 to 2019, past-year illicit drug use amongst People 12 or older elevated from 15% to just about 21% and the overdose dying charge greater than tripled.
To raised determine and perceive latest adjustments in and results of using the prison authorized system to handle drug issues, The Pew Charitable Trusts analyzed publicly out there nationwide knowledge on drug arrests and imprisonment, drug remedy, and hurt from drug misuse from 2009 by 2019 — the newest decade for which knowledge is out there. The examine discovered divergent enforcement traits—excessive charges of arrest however considerably diminished incarceration — coupled with a scarcity of remedy choices and excessive mortality charges amongst folks with illicit drug dependence.
Drug possession arrests held regular at greater than 1,000,000 a 12 months, in stark distinction with a big discount in general arrests, which dropped 29%.
Just one in 13 individuals who had been arrested and had a drug dependency acquired remedy whereas in jail or jail.
Racial disparities in drug enforcement declined. Arrests of Black folks for drug offenses fell by 37%, greater than thrice the drop amongst White folks.
Elevated arrests of White people for possession of methamphetamine offset declines in marijuana arrests and drove the discount in racial disparities.
The numbers of individuals admitted to and held in state prisons for drug offenses each fell by a couple of third, accounting for 61% of the general discount in jail populations and 38% of the whole decline in admissions.
The decline within the variety of Black folks incarcerated for drug offenses made up 26% of the lower in jail admissions and 48% of the drop within the jail inhabitants.
Drug- and alcohol-related mortality charges elevated fivefold in prisons and threefold in jails regardless of the decreases within the variety of folks in jail for drug offenses.
These traits point out each an ongoing reliance on the prison authorized system to handle drug misuse and that this technique is expensive and ineffective. Significant reductions in whole drug arrests and drug-related deaths might not be achieved with out shifting to a public well being response that prioritizes evidence-based remedy approaches.
February 15, 2022 at 03:30 PM | Permalink
Lastly some excellent news. Hopefully, the racial disparities will slender within the coming years pursuant to reform. It appears that evidently the extremes of the prison system, capital punishment and drug offenses, are experiencing adjustments quicker than sentencing reform for violent crimes and property crimes. I suppose ending capital punishment and decriminalizing medicine appeases liberals and monetary conservatives. Subsequent we will sort out ending LWOP for all crimes besides essentially the most brutal of murders, and abolishing necessary minimal sentences for all non-violent crimes.
Posted by: anon | Feb 15, 2022 10:24:43 PM
Curiosity in falling numbers of drug arrests = tons and yippee!
Curiosity in surging numbers of drug overdose deaths = zero and zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.
Posted by: Invoice Otis | Feb 15, 2022 11:20:08 PM