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America's Racist Drug Laws - by Stephen Lendman
They're part of America's longstanding racist tradition.
Sentencing Project Executive Director Marc Mauer 's a leading expert on sentencing, race, and criminal justice.
For 25 years, it's "work(ed) for a fair and effective criminal justice system by promoting reforms in sentencing law and practice, and alternatives to incarceration."
Criminal injustice is pervasive, especially against people of color. Racial and ethnic minorities comprise over 60% of America's prison population. "For black males in their twenties, 1 in every 8 is in prison or jail on any given day."
America's racist war on drugs disproportionately targets people of color and ethnic minorities. They comprise 75% of those in prison on drug related charges.
On March 17, 2011, Mauer testified before the US Sentencing Commission regarding proposed federal drug offense sentencing guideline amendments to the 2010 Fair Sentencing Act.
He said in 2009, drug offenses accounted for over half (51%) of the federal prison population. Those imprisoned represent a 20-fold increase since 1980. Their numbers exceed those incarcerated in 1980 for all offenses. They're the most significant source of America's 700% federal prison growth.
In recent years, state incarcerations stabilized. Federal ones keep rising. Drug related offenses are most responsible. Racial and ethnic minorities are grievously harmed. Reform is urgently needed.