Nancy Reagan's Incarceration For Nonviolent Drug Offenders

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Due to the unprecedented expansion of the war on drugs by the Reagan administration started a long period of skyrocketing rates of incarceration. The huge number of offenders incarcerated for nonviolent drug offenders increased from 50,000 to 1980 to over 400,000 by the year 1997. In 1981, Nancy Reagan began a highly publicized antidrug campaign called “Just Say No”, as public concerns arose due to the portrayals by the media about people addicted to a smoke-able form of cocaine dubbed as “crack”. This campaign set the stage for zero tolerance policies implemented in the late 1980’s.

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