The War on Drugs: The Prison Industrial Complex

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The war on drugs has been going on for more than three decades. Today, nearly 500,000 Americans are imprisoned on drug charges. In 1980 the number was 50,000. Last year $40 billion in taxpayer dollars were spent in fighting the war on drugs. As a result of the incarceration obsession, the United States operates the largest prison system on the planet, and the U.S. nonviolent prisoner population is larger than the combined populations of Wyoming and Alaska. Try to imagine the Drug Enforcement Administration erecting razor wire barricades around two states to control crime and you’ll get the picture.

According to the U.S. Dept of Justice, the number of offenders under age 18 imprisoned for drug offenses increased twelve-fold from 1985 to 1997. The group most affected by this propensity for incarceration is African-Americans. From 1985 to 1997, the percentage of African-American young people put in prison increased from 53 to 62 percent.

Today, 89 percent of police departments have paramilitary units, and 46 percent have been trained by active duty armed forces. The most common use of paramilitary units is serving drug-related search warrants, which usually involve no-knock entries into private homes. Source

Video starts in Dutch, plays in English by 2 min mark.

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Scholarslip, 4.5 out of 5 based on 8 ratings
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Scholarslip

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Determined to speak up about America’s crumbling higher education system, three students at Arizona State University’s Walter Cronkite School of Journalism rallied the voices of an indebted generation. The trio of aspiring journalists—Alex Lancial, Tara Molina and Jake Stein— produced a documentary entitled “Scholarslip”. The 26-minute production examines the student debt crisis in the United States and delves into issues local to Arizona. Illustrated through the voices of student debtors as well as university and government policymakers, “Scholarslip” explores five critical issues: increasing costs of tuition; deteriorating quality of higher education; diminishing value of a college degree in the job market; student dependence on state and federal financial assistance; and the effects on personal lives and aspirations. Lancial, Molina and Stein entered and documented the lives of three university students, each experiencing different personal and financial struggles yet sharing a common desire to pursue a college degree. Also featured are testimonies from John Kavanaugh, a representative in the Arizona legislature; Kent Hopkins, the Vice Provost of Enrollment at Arizona State University; and Natalia Abrams, a co-founder of Student Debt Crisis and Occupy Colleges. “Scholarslip” presents a generation under siege, challenging a seemingly out-of-control system that is sending millions into interminable debt.
 

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1 comment to Scholarslip

  • WW

    These are rather extreme stories. People need to be more responsible. What do you want to do in life? Then think do you really need to go to college for that? Get a business degree? NO Go learn how to start a business and spend less money starting up. I didn’t go to college and I make 6 figures and don’t even own my own business.

    Sure your education can’t be taken away but if no one is hiring whats it worth?

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