Senator Jim Webb (D-VA) argues for big changes to the failed “war on drugs.”
Why We Must Fix Our Prisons
Sen. Webb introduces new legislation:
Drug offenders, most of them passive users or minor dealers, are swamping our prisons. According to data supplied to Congress’ Joint Economic Committee, those imprisoned for drug offenses rose from 10% of the inmate population to approximately 33% between 1984 and 2002. Experts estimate that this increase accounts for about half of the dramatic escalation in the total number imprisoned over that period. Yet locking up more of these offenders has done nothing to break up the power of the multibillion-dollar illegal drug trade. Nor has it brought about a reduction in the amounts of the more dangerous drugs–such as cocaine, heroin, and methamphetamines–that are reaching our citizens.