Drug Policy

Analysis of drug policy and its effects on the prison system

  • Federal Prisons at a Crossroads
    The Sentencing Project, June, 2017
    “The number of people incarcerated in federal prisons has declined substantially in recent years. But recently enacted policy changes at the Department of Justice (DOJ) and certain Congressional proposals appear poised to reverse this progress.”
  • The Lack of a Relationship between Drug Imprisonment and Drug Problems [PDF]
    The Pew Charitable Trusts, June, 2017
    “There is no statistically significant relationship between state drug offender imprisonment rates and three measures of state drug problems: rates of illicit drug use, drug overdose deaths, and drug arrests.”
  • Drug Use, Dependence, and Abuse Among State Prisoners and Jail Inmates 2007-2009, [PDF]
    Bureau of Justice Statistics, June, 2017
    “More than half of state prisoners and two-thirds of sentenced jail inmates meet the criteria for drug dependence or abuse.”
  • (New) Unequal & Unfair: New Jersey's War on Marijuana Users, [PDF]
    American Civil Liberties Union of New Jersey, May, 2017
    “New Jersey is making more arrests for marijuana possession than ever before.”
  • A New Normal: Helping the Criminal Justice System Address Opioid Overdoses, [PDF]
    Vera Institute of Justice, February, 2017
    “[O]ver the last decade communities and public officials have increasingly called for an approach to drug use that employs harm reduction principles, making the issue a public health concern rather than one to be managed by the criminal justice system.”
  • Declining Drug Enforcement After Proposition 47
    Center on Juvenile and Criminal Justice, January, 2017
    “The county data suggests [that] Proposition 47 reduced inconsistencies in the classification of drug possession offenses as felonies or misdemeanors.”
  • Every 25 Seconds: The Human Toll of Criminalizing Drug Use in the United States,
    Human Rights Watch and the ACLU, October, 2016
    “More than one of every nine arrests by state law enforcement is for drug possession, amounting to more than 1.25 million arrests each year.”
  • Report to the Congress: Career Offender Sentencing Enhancements,
    United States Sentencing Commission, August, 2016
    “The career offender directive should be amended to differentiate between career offenders with different types of criminal records, and is best focused on those offenders who have committed at least one 'crime of violence.'”
  • Global burden of HIV, viral hepatitis, and tuberculosis in prisoners and detainees,
    National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre, July, 2016
    “The most effective way of controlling these infections in prisoners and the broader community is to reduce the incarceration of people who inject drugs.”
  • Mass Incarceration: The Whole Pie 2016,
    Prison Policy Initiative, March, 2016
    (The American criminal justice system holds more than 2.3 million people in thousands of facilities, and we go deeper to provide further detail on where and why.)
  • Marijuana Legalization in Colorado: Early Findings,
    Colorado Department of Public Safety, March, 2016
    “The total number of marijuana arrests decreased by 46% between 2012 and 2014, from 12,894 to 7,004.”
  • Mass Incarceration: The Whole Pie 2015,
    Prison Policy Initiative, December, 2015
    (The U.S. locks up more than 2.3 million people in prisons, jails, and other facilities on any given day.)
  • Health Disparities in Drug- and Alcohol-Use Disorders: A 12-Year Longitudinal Study of Youths After Detention,
    American Journal of Public Health, December, 2015
    “Drug abuse appears to have greater consequences for racial/ethnic minorities, especially African Americans, than for non-Hispanic Whites.”
  • Who Gets Time for Federal Drug Offenses? Data Trends and Opportunities for Reform,
    Urban Institute, November, 2015
    (This brief finds that many people in federal prison for drug crimes have minimal or no criminal histories, and most were not convicted of violent or leading roles.)
  • Drug Offenders In Federal Prisons: Estimates Of Characteristics Based on Linked Data,
    Bureau of Justice Statistics; Urban Institute, October, 2015
    “Almost all (99.5%) drug offenders in federal prison were serving sentences for drug trafficking.”
  • How to reduce the federal prison population
    Urban Institute, October, 2015
    “Substantial reductions to the BOP population can be achieved by reforming sentencing law and policy for drug trafficking.”
  • Federal Drug Sentencing Laws Bring High Cost, Low Return: Penalty increases enacted in 1980s and 1990s have not reduced drug use or recidivism,
    Pew Charitable Trusts Public Safety Performance Project, August, 2015
    “From 1980 to 2011 (the latest year for which comparable statistics are available), the average prison sentence imposed on drug offenders increased 36 percent.”
  • A Price Too High: US Families Torn Apart by Deportations for Drug Offenses,
    Human Rights Watch, June, 2015
    “[T]he US is deporting a significant number of both permanent residents and undocumented individuals with strong family and community ties to the US, often for minor or old drug offenses.”
  • Drivers of Growth in the Federal Prison Population
    Urban Institute, March, 2015
    “The biggest driver of growth in the prison population is in federally sentenced drug offenders, almost all of whom were convicted of drug trafficking.”
  • End of an Era? The Impact of Drug Law Reform in New York City,
    Vera Institute of Justice, January, 2015
    “The National Institute of Justice-funded study found that drug law reform, as it functioned in the city soon after the laws were passed, led to a 35 percent rise in the rate of diversion of eligible defendants to treatment.”
  • A Natural Experiment in Reform: Analyzing Drug Policy Change In New York City, Final Report, [PDF]
    Vera Institute of Justice, January, 2015
    “Individuals in the Diversion Group were rearrested at a lower rate than those in the Sentenced Group. Therefore, there is a law enforcement benefit of $146 and a court system benefit of $886 per person in treatment.”
  • Federal Justice Statistics, 2012 - Statistical Tables
    Bureau of Justice Statistics, January, 2015
    “Tables and text describe arrests and investigations by law enforcement agency and growth rates by type of offense and federal judicial district.”
  • Review of the Drug Enforcement Administration's Use of Cold Consent Encounters at Mass Transportation Facilities, [PDF]
    Department of Justice Office of the Inspector General, January, 2015
    “The DEA does not collect sufficient data on cold consent encounters to enable it or the OIG to assess whether the encounters are conducted in an unbiased or effective manner.”
  • Drugs: International Comparators, [PDF]
    Home Office, October, 2014
    “We did not in our fact-finding observe any obvious relationship between the toughness of a country’s enforcement against drug possession, and levels of drug use in that country.”
  • Reforming Marijuana Laws: Which Approach Best Reduces the Harms of Criminalization? A Five-State Analysis, [PDF]
    Center on Juvenile and Criminal Justice, September, 2014
    “All five states experienced substantial declines in marijuana possession arrests. The four states with available data also showed unexpected drops in marijuana felony arrests.”
  • Results from the 2013 National Survey on Drug Use and Health: Summary of National Findings,
    U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, September, 2014
    “In 2013, an estimated 24.6 million Americans aged 12 or older---9.4 percent of the population---had used an illicit drug in the past month.”
  • Managing Drug-Involved Offenders [PDF]
    Department of Justice, July, 2014
    “Drug courts, which also mandate drug treatment but under judicial supervision, have demonstrated better outcomes than standard treatment diversion programs.”
  • Ending the Drug Wars Report of the LSE Expert Group on the Economics of Drug Policy, [PDF]
    London School of Economics, May, 2014
    “A global system which predominantly encourages policies that transfer the costs of prohibition onto poorer producer and transit countries, as the current system does, is an ineffective and unsustainable way to control drugs in the long term.”
  • Recidivism Among Offenders Receiving Retroactive Sentence Reductions The 2007 Crack Cocaine Amendment, [PDF]
    United States Sentencing Commission, May, 2014
    “This publication reports on recidivism of crack cocaine offenders who were released immediately before and after implementation of the 2007 Crack Cocaine Amendment, and followed in the community for five years.”
  • Collateral Costs Racial Disparities and Injustice in Minnesota's Marijuana Laws, [PDF]
    Minnesota 2020, April, 2014
    “...blacks in Minnesota were 6.4 times more likely than whites to be arrested for marijuana possession – over two times the national average.”
  • Reaching too far: How Connecticut's large sentencing enhancement zones miss the mark,
    Prison Policy Initiative, March, 2014
    “This report shows that the law doesn't work, it cannot possibly work, and that it creates an unfair two-tiered system of justice based on a haphazard distinction between urban and rural areas of the state.”
  • Investigation of the Drug Laboratory at the William A. Hinton State Laboratory Institute 2002-2012, [PDF]
    Office of the Inspector General Commonwealth of Massachusetts, March, 2014
    “Dookhan admitted to "dry-labbing," or failing to conduct all of the required tests on drug samples that she analyzed, and also to tampering with drug samples to make negative findings into positives.”
  • The Effect of Medical Marijuana Laws on Crime: Evidence from State Panel Data, 1990-2006, [PDF]
    Plos One, March, 2014
    “...states passing Medical Marijuana Legalization laws experienced reductions in crime and the rate of reduction appears to be steeper for states passing MML laws as compared to others for several crimes such as homicide, robbery, and aggravated assault.”
  • Healthcare Not Handcuffs: Putting the Affordable Care Act to Work for Criminal Justice and Drug Policy Reform, [PDF]
    ACLU, December, 2013
    “...the legislation represents an opportunity to recast substance use disorders and drug use as a matter for public health rather than criminal justice...”
  • Incarceration is associated with used syringe lending among active injection drug users with detectable plasma HIV-1 RNA: a longitudinal analysis, [PDF]
    BMC Infectious Diseases, December, 2013
    “Among people who inject drugs (PWID), exposure to correctional facilities is common and has been consistently associated with heightened risk of sharing used syringes...”
  • Third Time the Charm? State Laws on Medical Cannabis Distribution and Department of Justice Guidance on Enforcement, [PDF]
    Americans for Safe Access, November, 2013
    “In fact, the Obama Administration has outspent all predecessors, with enforcement targeting medical cannabis programs and participants that has cost taxpayers over $300 million and destroyed thousands of lives.”
  • A Lifetime of Punishment: The Impact of the Felony Drug Ban on Welfare Benefits, [PDF]
    The Sentencing Project, November, 2013
    “... there is little reason to believe that barring individuals with felony drug convictions from receiving welfare benefits deters drug use or crime.”
  • A Living Death Life Without Parole for Nonviolent Offenses, [PDF]
    ACLU, November, 2013
    “About 79 percent of the 3,278 prisoners serving life without parole were sentenced to die in prison for nonviolent drug crimes.”
  • Drug Testing and Crime-Related Restrictions in TANF, SNAP, and Housing Assistance, [PDF]
    Congressional Research Service, September, 2013
    “The 1996 welfare reform law gave states the option of requiring drug tests for TANF recipients and penalizing those who fail such tests.”
  • Results from the 2012 National Survey on Drug Use and Health: Summary of National Findings, [PDF]
    Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, September, 2013
    “Among adults aged 50 to 64, the rate of current illicit drug use increased during the past decade. For adults aged 50-54, the rate increased from 3.4% in 2002 to 7.2% in 2012, and among those aged 55-59 it increased from 1.9% in 2002 to 6.6% in 2012.”
  • Treatment of the Highest-risk Offenders Can Avoid Costs [PDF]
    Oregon Secretary of State, August, 2013
    “Oregon taxpayers and victims could have avoided about $21.6 million in costs if substance abuse treatment had been provided to all of the highest-risk offenders.”
  • The War on Marijuana in Black and White: Billions of Dollars Waster on Racially Biased Arrests, [PDF]
    American Civil Liberties Union, June, 2013
    “On average, a Black person is 3.73 times more likely to be arrested for marijuana possession than a white person, even though Blacks and whites use marijuana at similar rates”
  • One Million Police Hours Making 440,000 Marijuana Possession Arrests In New York City, 2002‐2012, [PDF]
    Drug Policy Alliance, March, 2013
    “From 2002 to 2012 police have spend one million hours making 440,000 marijuana possession arrests. That is the equivalent of having 31 police officers working eight hours a day, 365 days a year, for 11 years, making only marijuana possession arrests.”
  • Blueprint for a Public Health and Safety Approach to Drug Policy [PDF]
    New York Academy of Medicine and the Drug Policy Alliance, March, 2013
    “This report finds two clear themes: 1) structural issues (like income disparities, education, & opportunity) profoundly shape experiences of drug policies; 2) when problematic drug use does occur, our response should involve help instead of sanctions.”
  • The War on Drugs: Wasting billions and undermining economies, [PDF]
    Count the Costs, February, 2013
    “Total expenditure on drug law enforcement by the US has been estimated at over $1 trillion during the last 40 years.”
  • Effective Approaches to Drug Crimes In Texas: Strategies to Reduce Crime, Save Money, and Treat Addiction, [PDF]
    Texas Criminal Justice Coalition, January, 2013
    “Specifically, policy-makers must support the efforts of practitioners who are seeking to effectively treat those with substance abuse by improving and making more widely available community-based rehabilitation and treatment diversion alternatives.”
  • ADAM II 2013 Annual Report, [PDF]
    Arrestee Drug Abuse Monitoring Program II, January, 2013
    “The Arrestee Drug Abuse Monitoring II (ADAM II) survey gathers information on drug use and related issues from booked adult male arrestees within 48 hours of their arrest.”
  • Examining Growth in the Federal Prison Population, 1998 to 2010 [PDF]
    Urban Institute, December, 2012
    “The increase in expected time served by drug offenders was the single greatest contributor to growth in the federal prison population between 1998 and 2010.”
  • The Growth & Increasing Cost of the Federal Prison System: Drivers and Potential Solutions, [PDF]
    Urban Institute, December, 2012
    “Reducing sentence length, particularly for drug offenders, would be the most direct way to slow the projected growth of the BOP population.”
  • What Have We Done? Mass Incarceration and the Targeting of Albany's Black Males by Federal, State, and Local Authorities, [PDF]
    Center for Law and Justice, October, 2012
    “Law enforcement officials are now using a new tool to arrest and prosecute drug-related crimes: racketeering laws. Young African-American men from Albany are now being subjected to additional years in prison, in some cases for committing no new crimes.”
  • Florida Senate Report: Review Penalties for Drug-Free Zone Violations [PDF]
    Florida Senate, October, 2012
    “The Pennsylvania Commission on Sentencing did not find that "length of sentence or imposition of a mandatory minimum term per se were predictors of recidivism.”
  • Reducing the U.S. Demand for Illegal Drugs A Report by the United States Senate Caucus on International Narcotics Control, [PDF]
    United States Senate Caucus on International Narcotics Control, June, 2012
    “Drug courts have proven to be effective. According to a 2006 study, approximately three-quarters of drug courts – or 78 % – were found to have significantly reduced crime. The personal attention provided in drug courts can have life-changing effects.”
  • The Costs and Benefits of Community-Based Substance Abuse Treatment in the District of Columbia, [PDF]
    Urban Institute, April, 2012
    “On average, we find there is a 55 percent chance that a community-based substance abuse treatment (CBSAT) program serving 150 people would yield benefits that exceed its costs. The median benefit of CBSAT is $615 per person higher than its costs.”
  • Does Federal Financial Aid Affect College Enrollment? Evidence from Drug Offenders and the Higher Education Act of 1998, [PDF]
    Cornell University, February, 2012
    “The ban on Federal financial aid increased the amount of time between high school graduation and college enrollment, affected students were less likely to ever enroll in college, and the law did not deter young people from committing drug felonies.”
  • Adult Drug Courts Studies Show Courts Reduce Recidivism, but DOJ Could Enhance Future Performance Measure Revision Efforts, [PDF]
    Government Accountability Office, December, 2011
    “GAO's analysis of evaluations reporting relapse data for eight programs showed that drug-court program participants were less likely than comparison group members to use drugs [...] although the difference was not always significant.”
  • Breakthrough in U.S. Drug Sentencing Reform The Fair Sentencing Act and the Unfinished Reform Agenda, [PDF]
    Sentencing Project, November, 2011
    “Efforts are underway among the advocacy community to build upon the sentence reduction embraced by the Fair Sentencing Act and to capitalize on the reform movement that has been gaining momentum at the state level.”
  • Cracked Justice [PDF]
    Sentencing Project, March, 2011
    “In Missouri, a defendant convicted of selling six grams of crack cocaine faces the same prison term –a ten-year mandatory minimum – as someone who sells 450 grams of powder cocaine, or 75 times that amount.”
  • Drug Courts Are Not the Answer Toward a Health-Centered Approach to Drug Use, [PDF]
    Drug Policy Alliance, March, 2011
    “Incarceration, when used to punish continued drug use or relapse, is [...] at odds with a health approach [...]. In a treatment setting, relapse is met with more intensive services. In drug court, relapse is often met with [...] removal of treatment...”
  • Addicted to Courts How a Growing Dependence on Drug Courts Impacts People and Communities, [PDF]
    Justice Policy Institute, March, 2011
    “Treatment in the community is about 10 times more cost-effective than drug courts; it costs considerably less and is almost equally as effective as drug courts in reducing recidivism.”
  • The Chicago Lawyers' Committee's Review of Alternatives for Non- Violent Offenders, [PDF]
    Chicago Lawyers' Committee, 2011
    “This article first addresses specific reforms that have been implemented nationwide relating to non-violent offenders, highlights examples of states that have implemented more aggressive aspects of such reforms, and discusses Illinois' policies.”
  • Illinois Disproportionate Justice Impact Study Commission Final Report, [PDF]
    Illinois Disproportionate Justice Impact Study Commission, December, 2010
    “Statewide, among defendants with a Class 4 possession charge, African-Americans were sentenced to prison at a rate almost five times greater than whites: 19 percent of African-American defendants compared with 4 percent of white defendants.”
  • America's Problem-Solving Courts The Criminal Costs of Treatment and the Case for Reform, [PDF]
    National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, September, 2009
    “Conditioning treatment on an arrest and entry in the criminal justice system sends a perverse message to the person and is an enormous waste of scarce public and court resources.”
  • Drug Courts: A Review of the Evidence, [PDF]
    Sentencing Project, April, 2009
    “An analysis of research findings from 76 drug courts found a 10% reduction in rearrest.”
  • The Rockefeller Drug Laws: Unjust, Irrational, Ineffective, [PDF]
    New York Civil Liberties Union, March, 2009
    “New York's mandatory-minimum drug sentencing scheme has [...] not reduced the availability of drugs or deterred their use; it has not made us safer.”
    (This report documents the harms of mandatory-sentencing drug laws, focusing on their ineffectiveness and racial and fiscal impact. This report suggests a that rehabilitative approach to drug policy would be more sucessful.)
  • Reaching too far, coming up short: How large sentencing enhancement zones miss the mark,
    Prison Policy Initiative, January, 2009
    “Massachusetts cannot afford to preserve a law that fails to protect children while draining the state coffers and incarcerating Latinos and Blacks at a rate 26 to 30 times as frequently as Whites.”
  • The Geography of Punishment: How Huge Sentencing Enhancement Zones Harm Communities, Fail to Protect Children,
    Prison Policy Initiative, July, 2008
    “Our analysis found that less than a third (29%) of White Hampden County residents live in enhancement zones, but that more than half (52%) of Black and Latino residents live in school zones.”
    (Finds zone law fails to move drug crimes away from schools while increasing racial disparities in sentencing.)
  • Disparity By Geography: The War on Drugs in America's Cities,
    The Sentencing Project, May, 2008
    “Documents the growth in drug arrests at the city-level between 1980 and 2003 and the role of the "war on drugs" in expanding racial disparity in the criminal justice system.”
  • The Vortex: The Concentrated Racial Impact of Drug Imprisonment and the Characteristics of Punitive Counties, [PDF]
    Justice Policy Institute, December, 2007
    “The report documents racial disparities in the use of prison for drug offenses in 193 of the 198 counties that reported to government entities.”
  • A 25-Year Quagmire: The War on Drugs and Its Impact on American Society,
    Sentencing Project, September, 2007
    “Four of five (81.7%) drug arrests were for possession offenses, and 42.6% were for marijuana charges in 2005.”
    ("Drug offenders in prisons and jails have increased 1100% since 1980. Nearly a half-million (493,800) persons are in state or federal prison or local jail for a drug offense...")
  • Through a Different Lens: Shifting the Focus on Illinois Drug Policy, An examination of states' solutions and applicability to Illinois, [PDF]
    Roosevelt University - Institute for Metropolitan Affairs, May, 2007
    “[I]f $20 million of Illinois state dollars were invested in the model alternative to incarceration program, Illinois taxpayers have the potential to save between $50 and $150 million per year.”
    (An overview of 20 years of changes in Illinois drug laws and how they led to ever-increasing levels of incarceration.)
  • Cocaine and Federal Sentencing Policy [PDF]
    United States Sentencing Commission, May, 2007
    “Federal cocaine sentencing policy... continues to come under almost universal criticism... and inaction in this area is of increasing concern to many, including the Commission.”
  • New Jersey's Drug Courts, Special Probation and Proposal for Reform [PDF]
    The New Jersey Commission to Review Criminal Sentencing, April, 2007
    “[P]rograms that combine comprehensive treatment, intensive supervision and judicial oversight cost substantially less than prolonged periods of imprisonment... the public benefits not only from the reduction in crime, but also from significant savings...”
  • DTAP (Drug Treatment Alternative-to-Prison) Sixteenth Annual Report [PDF]
    Kings County (Brooklyn) District Attorney, April, 2007
    “In its sixteenth year of operation, DTAP continued to maintain high treatment retention and low recidivism rates and to produce enormous cost savings.”
  • Supplemental Report on New Jersey's Drug Free Zone Crimes & Proposal For Reform, [PDF]
    The New Jersey Commission to Review Criminal Sentencing, April, 2007
    (The commission restates its findings from last year's report, emphasizing their reliability and significance. Adding new arguments, it urges the legislature to act on its recommendations to reduce the size of the drug free zones in New Jersey.)
  • Evaluation of the Substance Abuse and Crime Prevention Act: Final Report, [PDF]
    University Of California Los Angeles and Integrated Substance Abuse Programs, April, 2007
    “SACPA represents a major shift in criminal justice policy, inasmuch as adults convicted of [eligible] nonviolent drug offenses... can now be sentenced to probation with drug treatment instead of either probation without treatment or incarceration.”
  • Cracks in the System: Twenty Years of the Unjust Federal Crack Cocaine Law, [PDF]
    ACLU, October, 2006
    “Although there are more white cocaine users, national drug enforcement and prosecutorial policies and practices have resulted in inner city communities of color being targeted almost exclusively.”
  • Progress and Challenges: An analysis of drug treatment and imprisonment in Maryland from 2000 to 2005, [PDF]
    Justice Policy Institute, September, 2006
    “Crime trends since 2000 appear to support the argument that treatment does more than imprisonment to reduce crime.”
  • The Next Big Thing? Methamphetamine In the United States, [PDF]
    Sentencing Project, June, 2006
    “This report examines the development of methamphetamine as the”
  • Drugs and crime in Ireland Overview 3, [PDF]
    Health Research Board, May, 2006
    (The report examines the perceived and actual links between drugs and crime in Ireland.)
  • Harmful Drug Law Hits Home: How Many College Students Have Lost Their Financial Aid Due to Drug Convictions?, [PDF]
    Students for Sensible Drug Policy, May, 2006
  • Proposition 36: Five Years Later [PDF]
    Justice Policy Institute, April, 2006
    “California Sees Greatest Drop in Drug Prisoners among Large State Prison Systems since Prop. 36 [was] enacted.”
  • Disparity by Design: How drug-free zone laws impact racial disparity - and fail to protect youth,
    Justice Policy Institute, March, 2006
    “[D]rugfree zone laws... are not effective in reducing the sale or use of drugs, or in protecting school children - and the role these laws play to increase unwarranted racial disparity is well documented.”
  • Evaluation of the Substance Abuse and Crime Prevention Act: Cost Analysis Report (first and second years),
    UCLA, March, 2006
  • Treatment Instead of Prisons: A Roadmap for Sentencing and Correctional Policy in Wisconsin, [PDF]
    Justice Strategies, January, 2006
    “Absent a major investment of tax dollars in treatment services, however, we found that the state is likely to face mounting prison populations pressures in coming years due to growth in nonviolent admissions and revocations of post-release supervision.”
  • Benefit-Cost in the California Treatment Outcome Project Does Substance Abuse Treatment, [PDF]
    Susan L. Ettner, David Huange, Elizabeth Evans, et. al. (Published in Health Services Research, Volume 41), January, 2006
    “Our best estimate is that on average, substance abuse treatment costs $1,583 and is associated with a societal benefit of $11,487, representing a 7:1 ratio of benefits to costs.”
  • Drug Use and Dependence, State and Federal Prisoners, 2004 [PDF]
    Bureau of Justice Statistics, 2006
    “Among drug dependent or abusing prisoners, 40% of State and 49% of Federal inmates took part in drug abuse treatment or programs since admission to prison.”
    (Presents data from the 2004 Survey of Inmates in State and Federal Correctional Facilities on prisoners' prior use, dependence, and abuse of illegal drugs.)
  • Mandatory Minimum Sentences Briefing, [PDF]
    Connecticut General Assembly, December, 2005
    “The annual cost of incarceration associated with mandatory minimum sentences is $201.1 million.”
  • Report on New Jersey's Drug-Free Zone Crimes and Proposal For Reform
    New Jersey Commission To Review Criminal Sentencing, December, 2005
  • Minimum Mandatory Sentence Final Report, [PDF]
    Connecticut General Assembly, December, 2005
    “Mandatory minimum sentencing laws were specifically intended to deter offenders and thereby reduce crime (and curb drug use). There is no direct evidence to suggest that the state's mandatory minimum sentencing laws reduced the crime rate (or drug use).”
  • Rethinking the Consequences of Decriminalizing Marijuana [PDF]
    The JFA Institute, November, 2005
  • Efficacy and Impact: The Criminal Justice Response to Marijuana Policy in the United States,
    Justice Policy Institute, August, 2005
  • Substance Dependence, Abuse, and Treatment of Jail Inmates, 2002 [PDF]
    Bureau of Justice Statistics, July, 2005
  • Who's Really in Prison for Marijuana? [PDF]
    Office of National Drug Control Policy, May, 2005
  • The War on Marijuana: The Transformation of the War on Drugs in the 1990s, [PDF]
    Sentencing Project, May, 2005
  • Caught in the Net: The Impact of Drug Policies on Women and Families, [PDF]
    ACLU, Break the Chains and Brennan Center, March, 2005
  • Judicial Response to Proposed Substance Abuse Treatment Leg. in Wisc. Results of Three Focus Groups, [PDF]
    Wisconsin Sentencing Commission, March, 2005
  • Adult Drug Courts: Evidence Indicates Recidivism Reductions and Mixed Results for Other Outcomes, [PDF]
    United States Government Accountability Office, February, 2005
  • Washington's Drug Offender Sentencing Alternative: An Evaluation of Benefits and Costs, [PDF]
    Washington State Institute for Public Policy, January, 2005
    “[O]ur overall finding is that [Drug Offender Sentencing Alternative] is an effective criminal justice policy for drug offenders but neutral for drug-involved property offenders.”
  • Crimes of Indiscretion: Marijuana Arrests in the United States, [PDF]
    NORML Foundation (National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws), 2005
  • Unjust and Counterproductive: New York's Rockefeller Drug Laws, [PDF]
    Physicians for Human Rights, September, 2004
  • Arizona Prison Crisis: A Call for Smart on Crime Solutions, [PDF]
    Families Against Mandatory Minimums, May, 2004
  • Race and Drug Law Enforcement in Seattle [PDF]
    Defender Association's Racial Disparity Project, May, 2004
  • Drug Abuse in America: Rural Meth, [PDF]
    Council of State Governments, March, 2004
  • Treatment or Incarceration: National and State Findings on the Efficacy and Cost Savings of Drug Treatment Versus Imprisonment,
    Justice Policy Institute, March, 2004
  • Cost and Benefits? The Impact of Drug Imprisonment in New Jersey, [PDF]
    Justice Policy Institute, November, 2003
  • State of the States: Drug Policy Reforms, 1996-2002, [PDF]
    Drug Policy Alliance, September, 2003
  • The Economics of Drug Selling: A Review of the Research, [PDF]
    Sentencing Project, April, 2003
  • Washington State's Drug Courts for Adult Defendants: Outcome Evaluation and Cost-Benefit Analysis,
    Washington State Institute for Public Policy, March, 2003
    “We found that the five adult drug courts generate $1.74 in benefits for each dollar of costs. Thus, adult drug courts appear to be cost-effective additions to Washington’s criminal justice system.”
  • Drug Treatment in the Criminal Justice System The Current State of Knowledge,
    Urban Institute, January, 2003
    “Prisoners are not getting the drug treatment programs that would reduce their drug abuse and criminal behavior.”
  • Drug Use and Justice 2002: An Examination of California Drug Policy Enforcement, [PDF]
    Center on Juvenile and Criminal Justice, December, 2002
  • Trends in Substance Abuse and Treatment Needs Among Inmates Final Reports, [PDF]
    National Criminal Justice Reference Service (NCJRS), October, 2002
  • Population Impact of Mass Incarceration under New York's Rockefeller Drug Laws: an Analysis of Years of Life Lost, [PDF]
    Ernest Drucker, September, 2002
  • Distorted Priorities: Drug Offenders in State Prisons, [PDF]
    Sentencing Project, September, 2002
  • Drug War Facts [Website]
    Common Sense for Drug Policy, May, 2002
    (Summaries with footnotes of major research on the war on drugs. Read individual chapters or download the whole thing)
  • Drug and Crime Facts [Website]
    Bureau of Justice Statistics, May, 2002
    “This site summarizes U.S. statistics about drug-related crimes, law enforcement, courts, and corrections from Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) and non-BJS sources”
  • Defining the Disparity -Taking A Closer Look: Do Drug Use Patterns Explain Racial/Ethnic Disparities in Drug Arrests in Minnesota, [PDF]
    Council on Crime and Justice, April, 2002
    “For African American males the reported drug use rate was 51% greater than White males, while the arrest rate was 400% higher nationally and 1000% higher in Minnesota.”
  • Why the Department of Justice is Wrong About Cocaine Sentencing [PDF]
    Sentencing Project, 2002
  • Race and Class Penalties in Crack Cocaine Sentencing [PDF]
    Sentencing Project, 2002
  • Pulse Check: Trends in Drug Abuse November 2001 [PDF]
    Office of National Drug Control Policy, November, 2001
  • Federal Drug Offenders, 1999 with Trends 1984-99 [PDF]
    Bureau of Justice Statistics,, August, 2001
    “Federal drug law changes led to longer prison sentences”
  • Drug Policy and the Criminal Justice System [PDF]
    Sentencing Project, August, 2001
  • An Empirical Study of the School Zone Law in Three Cities in Massachusetts, [PDF]
    Join Together, July, 2001
    “MA law requiring mandatory sentences for selling drugs near schools does not and can not increase safety near schools”
    (Fall River, New Bedford and Springfield)
  • Crack Cocaine Sentencing Policy: Unjustified and Unreasonable, [PDF]
    Sentencing Project, 2001
  • Drug War Clock [Website]
    Drug Sense, 2001
    (See how much has been spent this year on the drug war. Also shows the number of drug war arrests and prison sentences.)
  • Drug Use and Justice: An Examination of California Drug Policy Enforcement, [PDF]
    Justice Policy Institute, October, 2000
  • Poor Prescription: The Costs of Imprisoning Drug Offenders in the United States, [PDF]
    Justice Policy Institute, July, 2000
  • Collateral Casualties Children of Incarcerated Drug Offenders in New York,
    Human Rights Watch, June, 2000
    “An estimated 23,537 children currently have parents in New York prisons convicted of drug charges.”
  • Drug Use, Testing, and Treatment in Jails [PDF]
    Bureau of Justice Statistics, May, 2000
    “Most Jails that test for drugs find at least one inmate who tests positive”
  • Do Drug Courts Save Jail and Prison Beds? [PDF]
    Vera Institute of Justice, 2000
  • The Path to Prison: A Response to The Governor's Assessment of Drug Offender Incarceration Rates,
    Human Rights Watch, May, 1999
    (powerful myth/fact format)
  • Substance Abuse and Treatment of State and Federal Prisoners, 1997 [PDF]
    Bureau of Justice Statistics, January, 1999
    “More than three-quarters of prisoners had abused drugs in the past”
  • Who Goes to Prison for Drug Offenses? A Rebuttal to the New York State District Attorneys Association,
    Human Rights Watch, January, 1999
  • Official Data Reveal Most New York Drug Offenders Are Nonviolent
    Human Rights Watch, January, 1999
  • Double Jeopardy: An Assessment of the Felony Drug Provision of the Welfare Reform Act, [PDF]
    Justice Policy Institute, October, 1998
  • Substance Abuse and Treatment of Adults on Probation, 1995 [PDF]
    Bureau of Justice Statistics, March, 1998
  • Behind Bars: Substance Abuse and America's Prison Population, [PDF]
    Charles E. Culpeper Foundation and The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, January, 1998
    “Three years in the making, this CASA report is the most penetrating analysis ever attempted of the relationship of drug and alcohol abuse and addiction to the explosion of America's prison population.”
  • Profile of anti-drug law enforcement in urban poverty areas in Massachusetts, [PDF]
    William N. Brownsberger, November, 1997
  • Cruel and Usual: Disproportionate Sentences for New York Drug Offenders,
    Human Rights Watch, March, 1997
  • Mandatory Minimum Sentences: Throwing Away the Key or the Taxpayers Money?,
    RAND Foundation, 1997
  • War on Drugs: New York Policies and Some Sober Thoughts, [PDF]
    New York State Coalition for Criminal Justice, September, 1989

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