Posted: March 24th, 2023

The War on Drugs and Mass Incarceration

Introduction

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The United States is less than 5% of the global population but has the highest number of its population being incarcerated. In the last four decades, the prison population has increased by 500%, the current number of inmates estimated at 2.2 million (Alliance 1). The growth in the prison population has been largely attributed to the war on drugs, which has disadvantaged the poor and the minority communities in the country. There has been an increase in research interest on the impact of the war on drugs policy, particularly the resulting mass incarcerations.

Thesis Statement: The war on drug has been based on a flawed policy which has increased the prison population through mass incarcerations without any effect on correcting the vice within the society. 

Annotated Bibliography

Alliance, Drug Policy. “The Drug War, Mass Incarceration, and Race.” New York: Drug Policy   Alliance (2015).

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The article published by the Drug Policy Alliance provides dependable data on the problem of mass incarceration in the United States as it relates to the war on drug and the inequality it has created in the country. From the article, the proportion of Americans in prison is provided, showing clearly that the poor and minority are the most affected. The reasons for the increase in the population of Americans in prison are provided as the function of injudicious drug policies together with callous sentencing. The outcome of the policy is revealed in the article as deep inequality, especially unfairness to people of color.

The Drug Policy Alliance is a credible organization in the United States, which means that the information provided by it is reliable and dependable. The data provided by the agency related to the problem of war on drug and the associated mass incarceration is critical to the research. It will provide important information about the problem, its causes and the ramifications on the American society as important sections in the research paper. It will also provide viable solutions to the problem of mass incarcerations in the country. Hence, the article is an important resource for researching mass incarceration related to the war on drugs.

Cloud, David H. “Reckoning with the Rise of the Carceral State.” American Journal of Public Health, vol. 107, no. 2, Feb. 2017, pp. 200-202.

Cloud provides a review of the book by the same name, which traces the roots of the problem of mass incarceration in the United States; rise of the Carceral State. From the book, it is evident that the rise of the Carceral State has its genesis from the implementation of the war on drug policy, implemented as the basis for dealing with the problem of drugs in the country. According to the author, while the policy was meant to deal with a problem, it has led to many other social, economic, and political issues begging for solutions. The author calls for an understanding of the background of the problem towards the end of formulating effective policies to address it.

The article is a summarized version of the book, “Reckoning with the Rise of the Carceral State,” with clear and relevant explanation of the emergence of the state where mass incarceration has become a norm. The article is a source of critical information on the role policies such as war on drugs played in mass incarceration in the United States. The article will form the basis for the background of the problem, the impact of the policies and the recommended solutions to address the problem. Therefore, this is a major resource for researching mass incarceration and the war on drugs.

Crutchfield, Robert D. and Gregory A. Weeks. “The Effects of Mass Incarceration on       Communities of Color.” Issues in Science & Technology, vol. 32, no. 1, Fall2015, pp. 46       51.

Crutchfield and Gregory have investigated the effects of mass incarceration on the minority communities in the United States. As a function of policies such as the war on drugs, there has been an increase in imprisonment in the country, primarily impacting the people of color and the poor. The article examines the economic and racial discrimination of those living in poverty due to the development of policies leading to their victimization. Policies such as the war on drugs and other focused on crime have tended to disproportionately target the poor communities in the country, creating a bigger problem instead of solving one.

The article focuses on the impact of mass incarceration on the community, with thorough research carried out by the authors on the issue. The article presents reliable information on mass incarceration and its impact on the particular sections of the American population. The article will provide important information on the research on mass incarceration in the United States and its impact on the poor and the minority in the country. Hence, it will inform the section of the research on the effect of mass incarceration.

Dickinson, Tim. “Crime, Politics and Justice.” Rolling Stone, no. 1238, 02 July 2015, pp. 34-37

            The article is based on the realization that the United States faces a major problem of increasing prison populations. The author acknowledges the problem in that the prison population’s growth results from arrests for relatively minor, nonviolent drug crimes. From his research, the author recognizes that the mass incarceration of black males is fueling the problem and suggests that policy changes are necessary to address the problem. According to the author, The Anti-Drug Abuse Act of 1986 is one of the mass-incarceration laws that should be reformed in the country to address the problem.

            The article is a source of credible information on the impact of mass incarceration laws in the United States, including the growth of the prison population. The author has written the article out of detailed research on the topic of mass incarceration and the need for their reforms to counter the negative impact. The article presents the information on the efforts that are already in place by the policy makers in the country to address the problems. Thus, the article is an important resource and a source of information on the failure of the mass-incarceration laws and the policy recommendations to address the problem in the country.

Francis, June N. P, and Gary A. Mauser. “Collateral Damage: The ‘War on Drugs’, and the Latin America and Caribbean Region: Policy Recommendations for the Obama Administration.” Policy Studies, vol. 32, no. 2, Mar. 2011, pp. 159-177.

            The article by Francis and Mauser emphasizes the necessity to reform the ‘War on Drugs’ in the United States under the Obama government. The need for the reform is informed by the policy’s impact, particularly in Latin American and Caribbean (LAC) regions. According to the authors, the policy has only created greater regional problems, resulting in increased incarceration, violence, and corruption. Hence, the authors propose major changes in the policy to make it more effective in fighting drugs in the region without necessarily resulting in unprecedented incarceration rates.

            The authors have written the article out of credible research and analysis of data focused on one region. The focus has allowed for the collection and analysis of adequate data to inform the recommendations for policy reforms. Looking back into the policy’s implementation and its impact, provides dependable information for the research. Hence, the article is a critical source of information on implementing the war on drug policy, its impact, including mass incarcerations and recommendations for policy changes. Therefore, the article presents important information for the research work on mass incarcerations as a function of the war on drugs in the United States.

Friedman, Samuel R., et al. “Drug Arrests and Injection Drug Deterrence.” American Journal of   Public Health, vol. 101, no. 2, Feb. 2011, pp. 344-349.

The article’s main objective by Friedman et al. was to test the hypothesis that high arrests for hard drugs relate to a decrease in the rate of use of injection drugs. The results from the analysis of the records on the incarceration rates within the United States criminal justice system revealed that the high incarceration rate for hard drugs does not automatically translate to a reduction in the injection of the hard drugs. The outcome of the study is that the deterrence-based approaches have not been effective in the country, indicating the need for policy changes for interventions focused on treatment and rehabilitation as opposed to arrests and incarcerations.

The article is an important source of reliable information on the use of the deterrence-based approaches, including arrests and incarceration of the use of hard drugs. The authors have used reliable sources of data on the rates of arrests and incarcerations to assess the impact of the approaches. Hence, the information can be reliably used to inform research on the rate of incarceration in the United States in relation to the war on drugs. The article, hence, will inform research on the incarceration issue and its impact in the long run, as well as proposal for better policies to deal with the issue of drugs.

Kahane, Adam. “Re-Viewing the War on Drugs Scenarios for the Drug Problem in the      Americas.” Reflections, vol. 13, no. 3, Aug. 2013, pp. 24-29.

The article by Kahane presents a review of the outcomes of the four decades of the war on drugs in the United States. From the analysis by the author, the policy has provided disappointing outcomes, with effects such as continued drug addiction, a cycle of incarceration, and violence. The author also looks at the outcome of the Reos Partners and the Center for Leadership and Management’s engagement by the Organization of American States to investigate the impact of the policy and propose some solutions to make it more effective. Based on the present dynamics, the agency revealed that the policy has achieved negative outcome and should, hence be reformed.

The article presents reliable information on the counterproductive impact of the war on drugs, including the cycle of incarceration, which has resulted in unprecedented growth in prison population. The article is founded on the modern dynamics within which the policy operates, making it relevant to the issue of mass incarceration as it relates to the war on drugs. The article will provide credible information on the problems arising from the war on drug policy and recommendations for policy changes to address the problems. Thus, the article is an important resource in the research on mass incarceration and war on drugs in the United States.

Lichtenstein, Alex. “Flocatex and the Fiscal Limits of Mass Incarceration: Toward a New Political Economy of the Postwar Carceral State.” Journal of American History, vol. 102, no. 1, June 2015, pp. 113-125.

The article by Lichtenstein is an essay that explores the political economy surrounding the problem of the increase in the prison population in the United States. The Carceral state has serious implications for the economy of the nation, primarily from the perspective of financing the system. The essay borrows information from the prisons in various states in the country, including California, Florida, and Texas. The article presents information on the proposed solutions to the problem, including construction of new prisons and prison privatization.

The article is an important source of information on mass incarceration, which has been viewed as one of the important defining features of post-war America. The article presents reliable facts on the factors associated with the problem and the policy solutions that can be implemented to address it. The information is critical to understand the modern history of America from the perspective of the factors associated with the problem and the impact it has, especially creating inequality. Hence, the article will be critical for research on the issue of mass incarceration as it relates to the war on drug in the country. It will present information on the background of the problem, causes, impacts, and possible policy solutions.

Moore, Lisa D, and Amy Elkavich. “Who’s Using and Who’s Doing Time: Incarceration, the War on Drugs, and Public Health.” American Journal of Public Health, vol. 98, no. 5, May            2008, pp. 782-786.

Moore and Elkavich have discussed the problem of incarceration in the United States using statistics from the relevant agencies. The article focuses on the problem of incarceration in the United States for non-violent offenses. The authors have used the public point of view in their assessment of one of the most controversial problems in the country. The results presented in the article are that the efforts by the government to counter the drug problem has resulted in major social problems, with the economic wellbeing and health of the minorities in the country being affected.

The authors of the article have used reliable sources of data and statistics on the issue of mass incarceration in the United States as a function of the war on drugs. The “prison-industrial complex” is used as the primary issue associated with the complexity of mass incarceration. The article presents reliable information on the issue of mass incarceration and the major impact it has on the people of color in the country. From the perspective of situating the war on drug and mass incarceration along the racial construct, the authors have provided highly reliable information for use in research. Hence, the information on the problem and the impact will provide credible content for the research on the topic.

Pinto, Nick. “Why Can’t We End Mass Incarceration?” Rolling Stone, no. 1247, 05 Nov. 2015,     pp. 36-39.

Pinto presents a detailed discussion of mass incarceration in the US and the issues associated with passage of the reforms on mandatory-minimum sentencing. Some of the topics discussed in the article are the 2015 United States Justice Department decision to set free 13,000 prisoners. Most of those incarcerated in the federal prisons and the majority of the released prisoners were because of the minor drug-related crimes. The article investigates the efforts made in the country to address the problem of growth in prison population. The problem was revealed to have started in the 1980s because of the war on drug policy.

The article presents reliable information on the problem created by the war on drugs policy; the increase in prison population because of mass incarceration. The author is critical about developing the policies that have already been made to ensure that the problem and the failure in the previous efforts are addressed. The article is a source of important information on the problem caused by the war on drug policy and the efforts made so far to address the problem. The article will also form the basis for recommendation of effective policy efforts and reforms to remediate the problem. Hence, the article will provide critical information for the research on mass incarceration as it relates to the war on drugs.

 

Works Cited

Alliance, Drug Policy. “The drug war, mass incarceration and race.” New York: Drug Policy Alliance (2015).

Cloud, David H. “Reckoning with the Rise of the Carceral State.” American Journal of Public Health, vol. 107, no. 2, Feb. 2017, pp. 200-202.

Crutchfield, Robert D. and Gregory A. Weeks. “The Effects of Mass Incarceration on Communities of Color.” Issues in Science & Technology, vol. 32, no. 1, Fall2015, pp. 46-51.

Dickinson, Tim. “Crime, Politics and Justice.” Rolling Stone, no. 1238, 02 July 2015, pp. 34-37

Francis, June N. P. and Gary A. Mauser. “Collateral Damage: The ‘War on Drugs’, and the Latin America and Caribbean Region: Policy Recommendations for the Obama Administration.” Policy Studies, vol. 32, no. 2, Mar. 2011, pp. 159-177.

Friedman, Samuel R., et al. “Drug Arrests and Injection Drug Deterrence.” American Journal of Public Health, vol. 101, no. 2, Feb. 2011, pp. 344-349.

Kahane, Adam. “Re-Viewing the War on Drugs Scenarios for the Drug Problem in the Americas.” Reflections, vol. 13, no. 3, Aug. 2013, pp. 24-29.

Lichtenstein, Alex. “Flocatex and the Fiscal Limits of Mass Incarceration: Toward a New Political Economy of the Postwar Carceral State.” Journal of American History, vol. 102, no. 1, June 2015, pp. 113-125.

Moore, Lisa D. and Amy Elkavich. “Who’s Using and Who’s Doing Time: Incarceration, the War on Drugs, and Public Health.” American Journal of Public Health, vol. 98, no. 5, May 2008, pp. 782-786.

Pinto, Nick. “Why Can’t We End Mass Incarceration?.” Rolling Stone, no. 1247, 05 Nov. 2015, pp. 36-39.

 

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