Mass Incarceration War On Drugs

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The War on Drugs and Mass Incarceration The United States incarcerates at a higher rate than any other country in the world. In fact, the U.S. alone is home to 25% of the world’s prison population; this, however, wasn’t always the case. The rapid growth of the U.S. prison population can be traced two decades back to the declaration of the War on Drugs by President Ronald Regan in the early eighties and previously mentioned by President Richard Nixon. In an effort to reassure White Americans’ of their elite positioning in the underlying racial caste system in a time where inner-city communities were facing major economic collapses, the Regan administration called for the reinforcement of the sale, distribution, and consumption of illicit drugs,…show more content…
Despite the fact that national polls showed that less than 2% of the American people considered drug crime to be the most important national issue at the time, both the media and politicians began to address and promote tougher measures against drug crime. However, in reality, the top domestic item in the polls at the time was civil rights integration and racial…show more content…
On October 14, 1982, Ronald Regan declared illicit drugs to be a threat to U.S. national security and waged a “war on drugs.” He proclaimed, “America’s public enemy number one in the United States is drug abuse. In order to fight and defeat this enemy, it is necessary to wage a new all-out offensive.” In other words, he along with his party used this drug war as a tactic to limit voting for people of color and reign them powerless in the American political system. Michelle Alexander recognized the true meaning of Regan’s declaration in her book "The New Jim Crow," arguing that, “the system of mass incarceration based on drug charges was created as a form of racial control and exists as a way to keep people of color in permanent states of economic, political, and social marginalization much as the Jim Crow laws of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.” Following Regan’s declaration, a number of policies were passed in an effort to fulfill the War on Drugs’ inherent racial agendas of keeping minority groups powerless in the American political system, and as a result, leading to their mass incarceration. Again, I like how this links to your main
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