Prison Law Blog

Sara Mayeux

Posts Tagged ‘drug policy alliance

Drug Courts: Reasons to Be Skeptical

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Reason #1:

  • This American Life reports on a Georgia drug court gone really awry. Like, batshit-crazy awry.

OK, you say, but that’s Georgia. I, a native Georgian, say, OK, you may have a point. What about drug courts that are running as intended? Well… it turns out there’s still reason for concern. To wit:

Reasons #2-4:

  • Drug Policy Alliance issues a new report concluding that drug courts do not reduce incarceration, do not save money, and do not improve public safety. Says DPA’s Daniel Abrahamson: “Drug courts have actually helped to increase, not decrease, the criminal justice entanglement of people who struggle with drugs.”
  • The Justice Policy Institute issues a similar report (PDF) concluding that drug courts are neither the most effective nor the most cost-effective treatment options, and serve merely to widen the net of the criminal justice system. (The report also discusses the proliferation of other specialty courts modeled upon drug courts, like veterans courts and mental health courts.) (h/t: Doug Berman)
  • And that was just in the past week! See also this 2009 statement from the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, on how drug courts endanger defendants’ constitutional rightsRead the rest of this entry »

Written by sara

March 29, 2011 at 7:08 am

Some Holiday Reading on Mass Incarceration and the War on Drugs

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Here are two magazine features to keep you occupied in airports and train stations through the new year:

  • The American Prospect has published online this special report on mass incarceration, which will also appear in its January/February 2011 print issue. The report features contributions from criminal justice policy scholars Mark Kleiman and Michelle Alexander, plus reporting on a wide range of policy issues (indigent defense, prisoner reentry, education funding, etc.) and state and local experiments with alternatives to incarceration.

Written by sara

December 13, 2010 at 11:24 am

The Personal Case for Criminal Justice Reform

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Think about someone you know who has used an illegal drug. Then ask yourself: would that person be better off in prison? Would that person be more likely to have become a productive member of society if they were stripped of their freedom, their property, their children, and their job?

— Ethan Nadelmann, Executive Director of the Drug Policy Alliance, “The War on Drugs Is a War on People,” Change.org, Jan. 13, 2010.

Written by sara

February 16, 2010 at 4:45 pm

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