Drug Sentencing Policy

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The main issue when it comes to drugs in the United States is the inefficient policies and sentencing laws that have been created. Also, the injustices within these policies pertaining primarily to race. Once the “war on drugs” was claimed the only way the government and law enforcement saw fit to handling this skyrocketing issue was to incarcerate offenders. Although this solution worked for a while, other alternatives needed to be made. However, these alternatives were not made and this left the drug policies, sentencing laws, and injustices at a standstill. Alternative policies and sentencing laws need to be made due to high incarceration rates. These high rates are costing the government and tax payers more money out of their pockets. This…show more content…
Data from The Sentencing Project shows that “African Americans use drugs at a 9.7% rate. This is considerably higher compared to 8.1% for whites and 7.6% for Hispanics” (King., Mauer, p.18, 2007). This is one of the reasons why African Americans are a primary target when it comes to drug policies and sentencing laws. This makes this group more inclined to be arrested compared to other races. Especially because, “African Americans make up 14% of the nation’s monthly drug users, they also represent 37% of individuals arrested for a drug offense, and 56% represent individuals in state prison for a drug conviction” (King., Mauer, p.20, 2007). This is evidence that African American communities are more inclined to have drug dealers and possible drug users. “However, drug selling activity does not accurately indicate that drug use and dependency are in certain neighborhoods and this fuels a strong misperception about patterns of drug abuse in American society” (King., Mauer, p.21, 2007). Therefore, the targeting towards African American community’s primarily due to this data may not be accurate. This also causes law enforcement to ignore other communities that might be heavily influenced by drug dealers. This is one practice that needs to change, not only throughout drug policies and sentencing laws but throughout the…show more content…
However, these few changes to the practices and policies that are currently enforced could send things in a positive direction. Although it might not eliminate the drug issues within the policies that are made, it could stop offenders from staying in a constant cycle. Looking into unjust sentencing laws could also help end the issue with the crack versus cocaine problem in African American communities. The policies that were created are not terrible, but it is time for the government to take a deeper look and make a

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