A reminder of the tradeoffs when you invest in a drug war

The War on Drugs Could Be Making Our Communities More Dangerous by Justin Glawe at Vice.com.

“Sexual assault just isn’t at the top of the agenda,” says Ilse Knecht of the Joyful Heart Foundation, a sexual assault victim advocacy group.

She’s not the only one calling for a redirection of resources.

“We’ve been advocating that money be made available for robbery units, homicide units, sexual crime units,” said Neill Franklin, director of Law Enforcement Against Prohibition, a national coalition of former police officers and criminal justice reform advocates. “How about using some of that money to analyze the rape kits that are sitting on shelves waiting to be looked at?” […]

Franklin and other reformers are disturbed by the recent uptick in homicides, and are pushing for more resources to go toward preventing the killings and achieving justice for the victims and their families.

“In the 1960s and 1970s, we were solving nine out of 10 murders,” Franklin said. “Now, in some places like Baltimore, it’s more like three out of ten. Federal dollars that are going to law enforcement agencies need to be reevaluated, pulled back from drug enforcement, and redirected toward preventing and solving violent crime.”

The drug war gets all the extra funding – the asset forfeiture funds, the Byrne grants, etc. All the task forces, SWAT teams and other resources put into the drug war take away from police efforts on solving violent crimes, including murder and sex crimes.

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