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Nonviolent Drug Offenders

The Link Between Drugs And Violence

Inge Fryklund | Posted 07.26.2016 | Politics
Inge Fryklund

In recent years there's been a lot of talk about the need to reduce sentences for non-violent drug offenders, which is laudable. However, the focus on the actions of the individual obscures the fact that illegal industries necessarily and inevitably involve violence regardless of the intentions of the participants.

You Serve Your Time, Earn Your Freedom, Then the Job Market Shuts the Door in Your Face

Jason Hernandez | Posted 04.29.2016 | Politics
Jason Hernandez

I'd heard that it's hard for those who have served time to find work, but I was confident because I thought I had the skills I needed to get my life back on track and become a productive member of my community. I had no idea that the job market is barricaded against people like me.

What Humans of New York Got Right About Federal Prison -- and What it Left Out

Amos Irwin | Posted 02.19.2016 | Politics
Amos Irwin

Humans of New York (HONY) just ended its powerful series inside federal prison, leaving some fans with questions. How do his profiles stack up against the broader federal prison population? And what can we each do to help fix the system?

He Needed More Time

Chandra Bozelko | Posted 10.20.2015 | Crime
Chandra Bozelko

We don't give Jim Webb enough credit. He started this whole criminal justice reform movement. If only we had given him more time.

It Ended Before It Began: Criminalizing a Young Brain

Merritt Juliano | Posted 09.24.2016 | Healthy Living
Merritt Juliano

Trying to identify those circumstances where an 18- to 25-year-old might fairly be treated as a juvenile, difficult though it may be, should be a priority for a modern society, particularly for non-violent offenders with a low outlook for recidivism.

13 Years for 2 Joints? Governor Jindal Needs to Follow Obama's Commutation Lead

Jee Park | Posted 07.28.2016 | Crime
Jee Park

Louisiana has the dubious honor of being the prison capitol of the world. More Louisianans spend their lives behind bars than any other state in the U.S. per capita. These draconian sentences for non-violent drug offenses only hurt Louisiana.

President Obama Is Right: Americans of All Stripes Strongly Support Reducing the Country's Prison Population

Alison Holcomb | Posted 07.16.2016 | Politics
Alison Holcomb

In early June, the ACLU commissioned a nationwide poll of registered voters who are likely to vote in the 2016 presidential election. The results, released Wednesday, demonstrate that we have arrived at a bipartisan moment where majorities of Americans no longer believe our criminal justice system serves the common good.

Dana Liebelson

Obama Frees Dozens Of Nonviolent Federal Inmates | Dana Liebelson | Posted 07.13.2015 | Politics

WASHINGTON -- President Barack Obama announced Monday that he has granted dozens of federal inmates their freedom, as part of an effort to counteract ...

Nonviolent Drug Offenders Should Not Be Taking Up Prison Beds

Stephen Downing | Posted 01.04.2015 | Politics
Stephen Downing

Few people know what it feels like to arrest a man. To hear the click of the handcuffs that so ominously foretells the loss of freedom, citizenship rights and personal potential for years to come.

Thousands of Rapists Are Not Behind Bars Because Cops Focus on Marijuana Users

Bill Piper | Posted 08.17.2014 | Crime
Bill Piper

A piece in the Washington Post highlights the growing backlog of untested rape test kits that are sitting in police storage units while rapists run free and victims suffer. Missing from the story, however, is one of the biggest contributors to this backlog.

1,100 Religious Leaders Call For Reform In Federal Drug Cases

The Huffington Post | Antonia Blumberg | Posted 06.03.2014 | Religion

More than 1,100 religious leaders from 40 faith groups have endorsed a letter to Congress in support of a reform bill on federal drug cases. Faith ...

WATCH: This Dad Took Desperate Measures To Save His Son's Life... Then Got Life In Prison

HuffPost Live | Kira Brekke | Posted 05.06.2014 | HuffPost Live 321

April Anderson and Cole Jackson's father was arrested almost 20 years ago for the intent to distribute half a pound of methamphetamine. The judge sent...

Time to Make America Average When It Comes to Incarceration Rates

Ethan Nadelmann | Posted 07.01.2014 | Crime
Ethan Nadelmann

It's time to end the United States' exceptionalism when it comes to incarcerating its citizens. A groundbreaking report released yesterday documents the unprecedented and costly price of U.S. incarceration rates.

The Most Powerful Painting I Have Ever Seen... And How it Freed Someone From Prison

Tony Newman | Posted 05.17.2014 | Arts
Tony Newman

My good friend and colleague, Anthony Papa, found his passion for art while serving a 15-to-life sentence in Sing-Sing. Papa painted hundreds of pieces while behind bars, but one of them stands out and is the most powerful painting I have ever seen.

Biggest Overhaul in Federal Drug Sentencing in Decades Clears Major Hurdle, Despite Opposition From Heartless Prosecutors

Bill Piper | Posted 04.01.2014 | Politics
Bill Piper

Today the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee passed bipartisan sentencing reform legislation that reduces the federal prison population, decreases racial disparities, saves taxpayer money, and reunites nonviolent drug law offenders with their families sooner.

Remembering Our Family Members and Friends Behind Bars During the Holidays

Yolande Cadore | Posted 01.27.2014 | Crime
Yolande Cadore

With a very heavy heart, as a mother and advocate for drug policy reform, I wish other mothers and fathers who are victims of the drug war a "happy" holidays -- but can one truly have a "happy" holidays when there's an empty chair at the family table?

President Obama, Pardon Both the Turkey and Drug War Prisoners for the Holidays

Anthony Papa | Posted 01.26.2014 | Crime
Anthony Papa

I support and applaud President Obama's treatment of turkeys. But I have to ask the president: what about the treatment of the more than 100,000 people who are incarcerated in the federal system because of the war on drugs?

Pardon Humans, Not Just Turkeys

Molly M. Gill | Posted 01.24.2014 | Politics
Molly M. Gill

More commutations would also fatten up President Obama's rail-thin pardoning record of a mere 39 pardons and a single commutation -- the worst tally of any president in history.

California Gov. Jerry Brown Carries the Torch for the War on Drugs

Lynne Lyman | Posted 01.23.2014 | Politics
Lynne Lyman

Brown rejected the national 'smart on crime' trend and pragmatic public policy by vetoing SB649, which aimed to give judges and district attorneys the discretion to charge possession of small amounts of illicit drugs as a felony or a misdemeanor.

Michael Douglas Condemns U.S. Prison System After Emmy Win

Anthony Papa | Posted 11.24.2013 | Celebrity
Anthony Papa

On the night of the Emmy awards, actor Michael Douglas used his win for his performance in Behind the Candelabra to speak out against the U.S. prison system.

Holder's Proposal Is Insufficient: Congress Needs to Decriminalize Drugs

Carl L. Hart | Posted 10.16.2013 | Politics
Carl L. Hart

Holder's remarks were unprecedented. No previous attorney general has even suggested that our drug policies might be wrong, let alone racist. The question before me is whether Holder's proposals amount to the needed radical change?

Two Days in the Political Life of Marijuana

Stanton Peele | Posted 10.15.2013 | Politics
Stanton Peele

Over the last couple of days, marijuana's impact on the political life of the United States has reached new heights.

Children of Incarcerated Parents Bear the Weight of the War on Drugs

Ifetayo Harvey | Posted 09.17.2013 | Politics
Ifetayo Harvey

Growing up with an incarcerated parent can be tough. To ignore the impact of incarceration on the family is to ignore how the drug war continues to dismantle black and Latino communities.

Beyond Marijuana: Gearing Up For the Battle to Decriminalize All Drugs

Tony Newman | Posted 08.20.2013 | Politics
Tony Newman

The marijuana reform movement has broken through as a legitimate political and cultural force. We're at a tipping point where it's starting to feel like marijuana legalization is no longer a question of if -- but when. But what about the other drugs?

Words Behind Walls

Cameron Douglas | Posted 08.11.2013 | Crime
Cameron Douglas

There are half a million other people in the U.S. who, like me, will go to sleep behind bars tonight because of nothing more than a drug law violation.