WORLDPOST
08/27/2012 02:02 pm ET

America's Failed War On Drugs

One in three black men in the United States can expect to go to prison in their lifetime, according to the Bureau of Justice Statistics. In Baltimore, one of America's most violent cities, incarceration rates are staggering. "We just put tons of black people in prisons from our inner cities. Ungodly numbers," former police commander Neil Franklin said.

Al Jazeera's Seb Walker traveled to Baltimore to explore the vicious cycle of crime and incarceration. He learned that much had to do with America's war on drugs. A decades-long policy of drug-related arrests put tens of thousands of people in jail, and deprived them of the possibilities to build a life later on.

So have things changed under the Obama administration? According to law professor Michelle Alexander, they have not. Although the administration has made some positive steps, Obama's drug control budget looks much like that of the Bush administration, she says. The investments in enforcement as opposed to prevention or drug treatment are about the same, she explains.

Watch Al Jazeera's Fault Lines above for more.

CONVERSATIONS