Racial Inequity and Drug Arrests 

Racial Inequity and Drug Arrests 
Posted by CN Staff on May 10, 2008 at 05:24:42 PT
Source: New York Times
Washington, D.C. -- The United States prison system keeps marking shameful milestones. In late February, the Pew Center on the States released a report showing that more than 1 in 100 American adults are presently behind bars — an astonishingly high rate of incarceration notably skewed along racial lines. One in nine black men aged 20 to 34 are serving time, as are 1 in 36 adult Hispanic men. Now, two new reports, by The Sentencing Project and Human Rights Watch, have turned a critical spotlight on law enforcement’s overwhelming focus on drug use in low-income urban areas. 
These reports show large disparities in the rate at which blacks and whites are arrested and imprisoned for drug offenses, despite roughly equal rates of illegal drug use. Black men are nearly 12 times as likely to be imprisoned for drug convictions as adult white men, according to one haunting statistic cited by Human Rights Watch. Those who are not imprisoned are often arrested for possession of small quantities of drugs and later released — in some cases with a permanent stain on their records that can make it difficult to get a job or start a young person on a path to future arrests.Similar concerns are voiced by the New York Civil Liberties Union, which issued a separate study of the outsized number of misdemeanor marijuana arrests among people of color in New York City. Between 1980 and 2003, drug arrests for African-Americans in the nation’s largest cities rose at three times the rate for whites, a disparity “not explained by corresponding changes in rates of drug use,” The Sentencing Project finds. In sum, a dubious anti-drug strategy spawned amid the deadly crack-related urban violence of the 1980s lives on, despite changed circumstances, the existence of cost-saving alternatives to prison for low-risk offenders or the distrust of the justice system sowed in minority communities. Nationally, drug-related arrests continue to climb. In 2006, those arrests totaled 1.89 million, according to federal data, up from 1.85 million in 2005, and 581,000 in 1980. More than four-fifths of the arrests were for possession of banned drugs, rather than for their sale or manufacture. Underscoring law enforcement’s misguided priorities, fully 4 in 10 of all drug arrests were for marijuana possession. Those who favor continuing these policies have not met their burden of proving their efficacy in fighting crime. Nor have they have persuasively justified the yawning racial disparities.All is not gloomy. Many states have begun expanding their use of drug treatment as an alternative to prison. New York’s historic crime drop has continued even as it has begun to reduce the number of nonviolent drug offenders in prison, attesting to the oft-murky relationship between incarceration and crime control. In December, the United States Sentencing Commission amended the federal sentencing guidelines to begin to lower the disparities between the sentences imposed for crack cocaine, which is more often used by blacks, and those imposed for the powder form of the drug. The looming challenge, says Jeremy Travis, the president of John Jay College of Criminal Justice, is to have arrest and incarceration policies that are both effective for fighting crime and promoting racial justice and respect for the law. As the new findings attest, the nation has a long road to travel to attain that goal.Source: New York Times (NY)Published: May 10, 2008Copyright: 2008 The New York Times CompanyContact: letters nytimes.comWebsite: Articles: NYC's Staggering Arrest Rate for Pot Find Racial Gap in Drug Arrests
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Comment #16 posted by ekim on May 12, 2008 at 20:02:37 PT
havent seen that movie
what i liked about what Richard said was how we must feel for others that are hurting from all aspects of aids.
we here have passed in 12 States mmj bills that protect those with aids.(and more to come)
why not take it to the UN and into places on the globe that have been ravished. 
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Comment #15 posted by FoM on May 11, 2008 at 20:02:39 PT
Needless to say the whole topic of how Aids came to be has been an interest of mine and this is my conclusion. Aids came to be like many terrible diseases come to be. Some pathogen collides with another pathogen and if everything is right a new virus can come into being. My opinion really is based on what I think rather then what I know. When KS started popping up in California the government turned a blind eye to it. When they discovered it was blood born they still remained fairly silent. Aids I believe entered the African American Community thru IV drug use more then Gay sex. And the band played on. My Catholic belief I learned as a child is that we can be guilty by turning a blind eye from a situation. The movie TBPO really was a good movie and I hope others have seen it or will see it and come to your own conclusion.The Band Played On
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Comment #14 posted by ekim on May 11, 2008 at 19:41:43 PT
happy moms day to all 
Richard brilliantly connects the dots --aids will be talked about if anyone thinks that cannabis prohibition could help those in Afrcia  please conceder calling or emailing s-span on mon morning and voice your self.
Top Story: Rev. Jeremiah Wright, AIDS In Africa and Suppression of Medical Cannabis. Conspiracy Theories Versus Obvious Realities.Call-In
Washington Journal Washington Journal
Mon. May 128:00-8:30   CARL SCHMID   (SCHMIHD)   AIDS Institute   Federal Affairs Director      Topic: A discussion on HIV/AIDS policy in the U.S. The AIDS Institute is hosting a panel discussion with members of Congress and other AIDS officials later today. 
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Comment #13 posted by FoM on May 11, 2008 at 13:39:06 PT
Just a Note
I hope everyone is ok with all these terrible storms going across the states. Stay safe everyone and Happy Mother's Day.
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Comment #12 posted by FoM on May 11, 2008 at 09:24:59 PT
I believe with my whole heart that Barack Obama will be our next President. I plan on volunteering to work at our County Fairs this summer to help since we have three big Fairs within a not too far driving distance. I hope others will do what they can too.  McCain would be the end of our cause and that just isn't acceptable to me.
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Comment #11 posted by tintala on May 11, 2008 at 08:54:29 PT:
This is likened to the military junta of Myanmar
sounds just like what i heard on the news, identical to the myanmar reactions to the cyclone, we do live in a communist , militaristic country, and GOD FORBID if Mccain gets the nomination , us med patients will truely see a horrific side of the government, i will leave the country and move to Nepal...
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Comment #10 posted by Hope on May 11, 2008 at 07:25:33 PT
Oh my gosh. That's sickening.They knew you didn't have cameras to take pictures of the evidence of their crimes. That's sickening. It has to be a crime to lock people up and then feed them food that's labeled Not for Human Consumption. Is there no one anywhere with enough power and conscience to reveal the evil and the wickedness and horror of our penal and injustice system and do something to change it for the better? No one at all?All I guess we can hope for in this wicked world is that someday they really will hear, "When I was in prison you purposely fed me food that was not fit for human consumption," and they will have to say, "When, Lord, did we feed you food not fit for human consumption?"And of course, we know why they did it, beyond the fact that they are inhuman... "Brute beasts. Fit for destruction", "Their consciences seared over as with a hot iron". The same reason that so many people in their hell hole prisons are being persecuted for "crimes" that should not be crimes. Profit. The bottom line. Greed. More wealth for the conscienceless wealthy and powerful. Wealthy people increasing their wealth off the backs of other people. And those who are not wealthy but are in their employ and not saying a word. "When Lord, did we treat you as less than human?" They are every bit as guilty as the shareholders and owners of these crimes.And many of these "Tares" of humanity are getting ready right now to attend church services and claim to love the Lord. Some are wealthy and powerful little white haired ladies and pious seeming and well dressed, and well fed wealthy old men who present themselves to the world as good people and present to the church their "gifts" wrung from the misery and persecution of other humans.I suggest anyone that claims to be a Christian and has a stock portfolio do a very serious and thorough search to find out if they are stockholders to such "Investments". They better. 
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Comment #9 posted by runruff on May 11, 2008 at 06:44:14 PT:
observer is right.
While working in food service the first 5 months of my stay at Devens, I saw many, many crates and boxes marked in red block letters stamped that said "not for human consumption" These warnings were crossed out with black marker pens and hand written Devens next to it.We were fed farmed salmon that had been rejected by the FDA. I think the problem was called sea lice. Millions of tons were infected so the fish was sent to federal prisons throughout the country.All the COs in food service were fat pigs who ate and stole all the food they could eat and carry off. I learned to eat only what the cops ate.
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Comment #8 posted by John Tyler on May 10, 2008 at 20:09:23 PT
took them long enough to figure it out
Funny how after thirty-five years of the all out Drug War some people are finally figuring out that it is screwing over African-Americans. It’s not an accident. The purpose was to screw them over. Nixon said so in one of his talks to his buddy Halderman. 
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Comment #7 posted by observer on May 10, 2008 at 17:44:44 PT
Record Profits! 
Record profits - for the private prison industrial complex, that is. 
"We have begun 2008 by exceeding our earnings expectations for the first quarter. We completed and activated the initial expansion at the D. Ray James Prison, and continued the expansions at the Great Plains Correctional Facility (Great Plains) and the additional expansion at D. Ray James Prison. We believe that 2008 will be a highly productive year." Isn't that special: record profits in the lock-em-up for profit business. Follow the money. Cui Bono. They can double- and triple-bill the taxpayer for this lying pork barrel boondoggle make-work program for fascist lying police and assorted other drug war camp followers. One bill to the sucker-taxpayer, then turn around and bill out UNICOR -style sweatshop labour at 30$ an hour, pay the poor wretch 17 cents an hour. From which he must buy his own toothpaste and toilet-paper. Feed him some slop you wouldn't give to your dog (marked "for inmate use only"), pack him six to a cell designed for two people. (See: )Good time$ and record profit$! What's there not to like about that for your average fascist? 
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Comment #6 posted by FoM on May 10, 2008 at 12:49:28 PT
Oregon: Obama, McCain Hitting Road Together?
May 10, 2008Excerpt: Obama pledged to respect several controversial measures Oregon voters have passed and the Bush administration has challenged, including a medical marijuana initiative and the state's doctor-assisted suicide law."The Justice Department has better things to do than raid folks who are trying to provide medical marijuana," he said, adding: "I have no interest seeing our justice dept spend its limited time and resources challenging state laws... rather than fighting terrorists..."
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Comment #5 posted by FoM on May 10, 2008 at 12:20:58 PT
I thought it was funny too. Glad you liked it. The Empire Strikes Barack was really good.
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Comment #4 posted by Sam Adams on May 10, 2008 at 12:10:24 PT
for the record
The NY Times endorsed Giuliani in his 1997 mayoral campaign instead of the Democratic candidate, Ruth Messinger.
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Comment #3 posted by Sam Adams on May 10, 2008 at 12:07:51 PT
FOM, great one! Here is something a friend sent recently, it's too awesome for words, check it out:The Empire Strikes Barack happy mother's day
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Comment #2 posted by Sam Adams on May 10, 2008 at 12:05:42 PT
NY Times 
I feel like I have to point out the fact that the NY Times endorsed Giuliani in the late 1990's, after he waged a campaign of what could be considered "ethnic cleansing" against brown people smoking cannabis in NY. We all know the story of how Rudy cranked the NYC MJ arrests from 1,000 per year to 50,000 or 60,000, and the VAST majority of them were minorities.And then the NY Times endorsed him against a Democrat (sorry I forget which race it was).I wonder how the NY Time proposes to fix the situation while keeping cannabis illegal? I can't wait to hear their proposal. How they intend to completely eliminate racism from the NYC police dept. 
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Comment #1 posted by FoM on May 10, 2008 at 07:35:15 PT
Funny Political Cartoon
I hope everyone has a nice weekend. I found this on The Daily Kos. Enjoy.Happy Mother's Day a day early to all the Moms out there.
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