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The War on Drugs - The Failure Continues

            In 1971, President Nixon declared war on drugs and increased the presence of federal drug agencies. He also pushed measures of mandatory sentencing and no-knock warrants. When Ronald Reagan became president, it was the start of a long term of intensified rates of incarceration. The number of people behind bars for nonviolent drug offenses increased from 50,000 to 400,000 by 1997. The war on drugs was not effective because the drug laws have been poorly correlated and prisons are getting more money than colleges. One reason the war on drugs has been a failure is because The New Jim Crow has shown that in the past three decades, the United States prison population has skyrocketed from 300,000 to more than two million, the majority of the increase being from drug convictions. One fact is that blacks and latinos are being stereotyped as criminals. These stereotypes are a problem because law enforcement is only focusing on these communities and profiling people that possibly aren't doing anything. Even though drugs are used by every race, police are targeting African Americans. In "The New Jim Crow: Author Michelle Alexander Talks About Race and Drug War" article, Alexander states that, "2.2 million people are in jail or prison and 7.7 million are under control of the criminal justice system, and African American boys, men, and now women are making up a disproportionate number of those imprisoned." Also, the war on drugs has made a traumatic impact on inner city African American communities, on a scale that is out of proportion to the actual side of criminal activity taking place within the communities. The reasons why so many people of color are trapped at the bottom is because of bad schools, poverty, and broken homes but if we encourage people to stay in schools and stay married, the problem of mass incarceration may decrease. Enormous harm has been done, now we have to repair those communities.

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