CrimProf Blog

Editor: Kevin Cole
Univ. of San Diego School of Law

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Levy-Pounds on Impact of War on Drugs on African-American Families

Levy-Pounds nekima Nekima Levy-Pounds  (University of St. Thomas School of Law) has posted  Can These Bones Live? A Look at the Impacts of the War on Drugs on Poor African-American Children and Families (Hastings Race & Poverty Law Journal, Forthcoming) on SSRN. Here is the abstract:

It is no secret that there is currently an incarceration crisis in America. A Pew Report issued in February of 2008 proved one of our worst fears, as the United States now has the highest rate of incarceration in the world. In fact, according to the report, one in every one hundred adult Americans is presently incarcerated. One has to look no further than the last twenty years to identify the source of the boom in our nation’s prison population: Namely, the war on drugs.

Of all the communities impacted by the war on drugs, poor African-Americans have arguably experienced the most dramatic and lasting effects of the war. Although African-Americans comprise just 13% of the U.S. population, they are nearly half of those represented in federal and state prisons, largely due to drug-related crime. Notably, a number of incarcerated African-Americans are parents of children under the age of eighteen.

In light of the failure of the war on drugs to achieve its goals of reducing access to and the sale of narcotics in the U.S., one must wonder whether a new strategy for addressing the issue of drug trafficking and improving fragile communities is in order. The purpose of this paper is to increase awareness of the devastating effects of the war on drugs on poor African-American children and families in an effort to advocate for change.

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The devastating effects of the war on drugs aren't limited to poor African-American families. The hippie community, Woodstock Nation if you will, is equally devastated. Now is the time for all victims of the war on drugs to come together for peace on the home front. Society's so-called drug problem is really a prohibition problem. Absence of liberty is the problem. Liberty is the solution. Nothing, short of liberty to garden and share nature's bounty, will cure society's plague. Don't reform prohibition, just repeal it. Repeal of the Controlled Substances Act of 1970 is the way forward.

Posted by: Bill Harris | Dec 18, 2009 7:44:06 AM

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