The Presidency and America's Addiciton to Prisons and Drugs

Neal Pierce looks at America's addiction to incarceration and drug prohibition and wonders what -- if anything -- the presidential candidates would do to change the country's course.
September 8, 2008, 9am PDT | Nate Berg
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"We may have the world's highest rate of incarceration - with 5 percent of global population, 25 percent of prisoners worldwide. We may be throwing hundreds of thousands of nonviolent drug offenders, many barely of age, behind bars - one reason a stunning one out of every 100 Americans is now imprisoned. We may have created a huge 'prison-industrial complex' of prison builders, contractors and swollen criminal justice bureaucracies."

"A serious set of problems, a shadow over our national future? No doubt. But do our politicians talk much about alternatives? No way - they typically find it too risky to be attacked as 'soft on crime.'"

"But let's imagine - What if major party nominees Barack Obama or John McCain were pressed to state their positions on drugs and incarceration?"

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Published on Sunday, September 7, 2008 in Citiwire
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