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"Economically, our criminal justice policies are cutting our throat"

Submitted by smorgan on
CJPF President Eric Sterling has a simply fantastic article at Huffington Post illustrating the virtually infinite economic harm caused by drug prohibition and over-incarceration.

I highly recommend reading this, particularly because I often find reformers getting confused about the economics of prohibition. It’s easy to look at the prison guard unions, the small towns with big SWAT teams, the forfeiture-funded drug task forces, etc. and find oneself arguing that the drug war is all about making money. It’s true that drug war profiteering may help explain why certain interests will always shamelessly defend their piece of the prohibition pie. Yet, as Eric helpfully explains, the criminal justice system is hemorrhaging resources on every imaginable level, not only through the cost of maintaining our massive prison population, but also in terms of the lost economic participation of millions of inmates and felons.  

To whatever extent certain individuals and institutions may profit from the war on drugs, they do so at the expense of the economic health of the nation. Educating ourselves and the public about this concept is vital to framing the drug war debate in terms all Americans can relate to.

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