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War on Drugs - Essay Example

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Since the beginning of the 20th century, "the war on drugs" has been one of the main programs developed and introduced by the US government in order to prevent and reduce illegal drug trade and trafficking. …
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War on Drugs
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War on Drugs

On the one hand, the "war on drugs" helps criminal justice system to control illegal drug trade and reduce a number of drug addicts. The creation of the threat estimate is a logical and orderly examination of all the factors which when combined give shape to the threat. The circularity of effects should be dear. As American communities changed, fear of the unfamiliar and unknown, and consequently that of crime, rose. As a result, when people encounter illegal acts they are more likely to call the police, out of fear, whereas in the past, when the situation did not contain the element of unfamiliarity, the issue would be handled informally. So increasing fear is a cause of acceleration in reported crime when the actual incidence of crime has remained stable. In contrast to this view, "many critics claim that current drug control strategy is not only unnecessarily punitive but also largely ineffective". The majority of survey respondents str not satisfied with the present situation, characterizing information/intelligence exchange as being "hit or miss," with actual "intelligence business" being conducted by personal contact and investigator meetings-in short, on a case by case basis. They cited limited connectivity between existing and planned networks and limited integration of federal efforts with those of state and local. Some investigators query systems but are reluctant to provide information to input. Fears of 'claim jumping' lucrative cases have prompted previously cooperative agencies to act much more cautiously." Additionally, "guarding drug intelligence and concealing major. “The current "prosecute-or-extradite" system functions through national prosecutions aided by ad hoc international cooperation. It leaves the enforcement of narcotics laws to individual nation-states, as nations may choose to assert jurisdiction and prosecute drug traffickers within their national justice systems, to extradite them to a requesting state, or to avoid taking any action" (Mcconville 2000, p. 75).
In addition, "the war on drugs" becomes a real burden for criminal justice system and prisons. Crowding in penal institutions may produce the most volatile situation of all. Many prisoners do not have a chance to be put on parole, so the effects of crowding apply steady pressure on them. That pressure is exacerbated by the violence, racism, and sense of hopelessness found in prisons. Crowding affects prison life in two ways: control of the prison population is more difficult as individual disciplinary problems and major disturbances increase, and individual deterioration is fostered (Miller, 2004). Prisoners living in crowded facilities for sustained periods commit suicide, die, are murdered, create disturbances, become ill, and have interpersonal problems more often than inmates not living in crowded surroundings. Both the actual amount of living space available to each inmate and the total number of men or women incarcerated are related to the negative impacts of imprisonment. Large institutions produce more severe physical and psychological effects than smaller facilities (The War on Drugs ... Read More
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War on Drugs
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