01.23- Film-War on Drugs.docx

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Department
Sociology
Course
SOC 5
Professor
Daniel Herda
Semester
Winter

Description
The “War on Drugs” 01/24/2014 Reagan speech- “to rid America of this deeply corruptive and corrosive evil” “Victory in this case is a drug free generation” highest prison rates compared to any other country except for..maybe Russia rd 3 biggest business in America – criminal justice good area to invest in Incarceration rate of women has gone up exponentially because of incarceration for drugs Narcotics officers are self-funded? Not funded by the city Children are used as informants—even on their parents MATTER OF CLASS “What we see is not a war on drugs. It’s a war on poor people with drug involvement” “it’s making everyone too much money” and the casualties are terrible multi-generational impact two-tier system dealing w/ substance abuse: white and privileged -> rehabilitation, poor and person of color incarceration dominant cultural force in the lives of young people growing up prison system expanding: CA spends more on a piece of the criminal justice system than they do on education people charged w/ possession of a very small amount- end up in the system for years people are doing longer and longer sentences on drug charges Low income areas, single-parent home families “trying to make this area a better place to live” “trying to make the area safer”---they don’t have to live in a crime invested, drug-infested area “It’s a self-perpetuating war”—never-ending war in a real war, it is the military that is in fact taking the casualties in this war, the people conducting the war (the police, the prosecutors), never suffer casualties; it’s the general public that is taking the casualties the police and the ones conducting the war actually benefit- higher budgets Research shows that if you have more cocaine arrests, you end up having more budgets Can convince people that drugs are a bad thing Incentives changed—focused only on drug crimes Police would now share in the assets seized They would adopt local seizures as if they were part of a local cooperative effort All local efforts could be diverted toward the police instead of local/state law Result: dramatic increase in seizures Pose as drug dealers w/ no type of police around/ physical markings Users go up to them and attempt to buy narcotics Sell them soap and fake drugs (in the same package that it is bought in) Charged with attempt to buy narcotics from an undercover police officer - misdemeanor Push-off campaign Get more probation and rehabilitations City makes more money off the costs that they have to pay Don’t even have to be proven guilty Can stop the car, seize the car, claiming that the $800 may have been related to a drug deal Don’t have to prove that it’s drug money You have to prove that it’s NOT! Standard burden of proof is reversed in America In a civil proceeding you’re guilty until proven innocent! Problem w/ the way the law was structured Assessed the value of the property before the raid—so it was clear their intention was to seize it solely for the property Task is to pay their way w/ asset forfeiture  very strong incentive to keep your job With the money from public option: buy raid vests, new radios Working off the drug dealers money! “in an indirect way, the drug dealers buy us everything in our office…financing our operation” “the city is saving money, yet we’re getting state of the art equipment at their price…so, everybody’s happy” Most local law enforcement agencies’ funding will come from the items that they seize TOTALLY SELF-FUNDED “must be quite a lot of money” “it is…we’re doing real well” Created incentives for citizens to inform on each other airline employee gets a cash reward for informing law enforcement that a ticket has been paid in cash (even when it isn’t drug money) becomes an
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