Open Thread

bullet image The Justice Policy Institute has released a new report: Gaming the System: How the Political Strategies of Private Prison Companies Promote Ineffective Incarceration Policies

It’s clear that the prison industry sees the drug war as something important to their bottom line.

“The demand for our facilities and services could be adversely affected by the relaxation of enforcement efforts, leniency in conviction or parole standards and sentencing practices or through the decriminalization of certain activities that are currently proscribed by our criminal laws. For instance, any changes with respect to drugs and controlled substances or illegal immigration could affect the number of persons arrested, convicted, and sentenced, thereby potentially reducing demand for correctional facilities to house them. Legislation has been proposed in numerous jurisdictions that could lower minimum sentences for some non-violent crimes and make more inmates eligible for early release based on good behavior.” – CORRECTIONS CORPORATION OF AMERICA 2010 ANNUAL REPORT

bullet image Krokodil

Russia has had some of the worst drug policies, pushing for abstinence over any kind of harm reduction programs. This is what you get.

bullet image A date to fill sane people with fear.

Sunday, 26 June, is the International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking. The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) is leading a global campaign to raise awareness about the major challenges that illicit drugs represent to society as a whole, and especially to the young. The goal of the campaign is to mobilize support and inspire people to act against drug use.

“Inspire people to act against drug use.” Chilling. Especially considering the tendency for some countries to use this date to execute drug offenders.

bullet image Efficient

During the first five months of this year, China’s courts heard 25,986 cases involving drugs and convicted 24,815 criminals.

A 95% conviction rate.

bullet image Drug War Creates Distrust Between Cops and Communities by Leigh Maddox (retired Captain, Maryland State Police).

The 40-year-old “war on drugs” and the criminalization of addiction have placed communities at odds with law enforcement, prosecutors and courts — to the detriment of justice and respect for the rule of law. The violence driven by the astronomical profits of the illicit drug market and the life-long collateral consequences for those snared by drug laws will continue to exile generations from the mainstream.

It might be surprising to hear this from a cop like me, but the solution to our current human rights crisis will ultimately require the legalization and regulation of current illicit drugs.

[Thanks, Tom]

bullet image If the Law’s Unfit, You Must Acquit

Cool new illustrated guide to jury nullification by Ricardo Cort├ęs. Downloadable for free: Jury Independence Illustrated

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