1. Dear Drugs-Forum readers: We are a small non-profit that runs one of the most read drug information & addiction help websites in the world. We serve over 4 million readers per month, and have costs like all popular websites: servers, hosting, licenses and software. To protect our independence we do not run ads. We take no government funds. We run on donations which average $25. If everyone reading this would donate $5 then this fund raiser would be done in an hour. If Drugs-Forum is useful to you, take one minute to keep it online another year by donating whatever you can today. Donations are currently not sufficient to pay our bills and keep the site up. Your help is most welcome. Thank you.
    PLEASE HELP
  1. Beenthere2Hippie
    View attachment 43746 Living in a poor neighborhood can dramatically increase someone's chances of getting arrested for drug violations — and until last year, a major federal program actually encouraged police to target these neighborhoods.

    Project Know, a drug addiction resource center, compiled a series of maps showing drug arrests at the neighborhood level in eight major US cities between 2012 and 2014. Most striking is how the number of drug-related arrests correlates with a neighborhood's poverty level, as this map from Chicago shows:

    While some research has found a correlation between poverty and drug use, police may also have been targeting low-income neighborhoods for easier arrests that would net them more federal funding. Neill Franklin, a retired Maryland police major who's now executive director of Law Enforcement Against Prohibition, a criminal justice group that opposes the war on drugs, previously explained to me:



    One of the requirements for completing a federal grant application for funds to combat drugs was showing how many drug arrests we made. The thinking was that the more drug arrests you have, the more significant your drug problem. If you have a significant drug problem, the federal government will give you more funds.

    So what did we do? We had our officers go out and make as many drug arrests as they could. Where did we do that? We did that in communities of color.

    Yes, it was that easy. Most of the people in these impoverished communities are always in the streets. They sell on the street corner. They have no political power or capital and no financial power, so there's also very little pushback. Doing these evening and afternoon sweeps meant 20 to 30 arrests, and now you have some great numbers for your grant application.

    As Franklin describes, a cop is a lot more likely to catch someone selling drugs on the streets while policing an impoverished area, where some dealers sell drugs outside, than a wealthier neighborhood, where people are more likely to buy drugs indoors from friends and peers they already know. And since more arrests would lead to more federal funds, police forces often had a financial incentive to pick up easy targets in these impoverished neighborhoods.

    The federal government has taken steps to eliminate this perverse financial incentive. Last year, the Department of Justice changed a major law enforcement funding program, the Byrne Justice Assistance Grant, to no longer use number of arrests as an accountability measure. This change could give police less of a reason to focus so much on drug arrests — and maybe let them put resources in other areas.


    Vox/April 18, 2015
    http://www.vox.com/2015/4/16/8431283/drug-war-poverty
    Chicago poor neighborhood photo: progressillinois
    Newshawk Crew

    About Author

    Beenthere2Hippie
    BT2H is a retired news editor and writer from the NYC area who, for health reasons, retired to a southern US state early, and where BT2H continues to write and to post drug-related news to DF.

Comments

To make a comment simply sign up and become a member!