How We Win the Opioid War: Report

The Sentencing Project released a report Wednesday assailing the grievous lack of medical treatment for addiction in prisons and jails, hours before the newly appointed Bureau of Prisons director was scheduled to testify before the House of Representatives.

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A 'Propitious Moment' For Reform

The release this week of the report by the National Research Council (NRC) on the causes and consequences of American imprisonment marks a watershed moment. By bringing together leading scholars and practitioners, the Council has produced the most comprehensive assessment to date of what we have learned from the four-decade “experiment” in mass incarceration. The findings are sobering. In examining the growth trends leading to 2.2 million people behind bars, the report's authors conclude that “the United States has gone […]


Smack Madness

“A heroin epidemic of gigantic proportions exists in the United States, and is increasing at a runaway rate.” That shrill warning was delivered in 1975 in a United Press International dispatch published in The New York Times, among other places. Citing a federal drug-use survey, the story said the number of heroin users in America had doubled over the previous six years, from 315,000 to 724,000. The “demon drug” epidemic is back once more on the front pages. Following the […]


Numb to Mexico’s Drug War Violence

Mexico's ongoing drug wars may be causing widespread desensitization to even horrific acts of violence, according to a new study of social media use in four of the country's most brutal cities. Analysts from Microsoft Research and the University of California-Irvine used Twitter's Firehose — a stream of real-time data and tweets, which the social media service allows very few organizations to access — to collect all Spanish postings between August 2010 and December 2012 with hashtagged mentions of Monterrey, […]


After Kerlikowske, What's Next for America's 'War on Drugs'?

“No one is happy with American drug policy,” Peter Reuter of the University of Maryland declares in a new overview of a debate that hasn't changed dramatically in the last three decades. Reuter's assessment (“Why has American Drug Policy Changed so Little in 30 years”) appears in a sweeping review of U.S. criminal justice published this month: Crime and Justice in America, Volume 42, 1975-2025, University of Chicago Press, 2013) With the U.S. government awaiting a new “drug czar”—President Barack […]


'The House I Live In'

Nannie Jeter was a fixture of film director Eugene Jarecki's childhood. She took care of him and his two siblings for so many years in their homes in Connecticut and New York, she was practically a member of his family. He stayed in contact with her even when he became an adult. When Jarecki watched members of her family, who’ve grown up alongside him, end up in prison or die, he decided to investigate further. The reason for her troubles, […]