With few exceptions and despite increasing investments in enforcement-based supply reduction efforts aimed at disrupting global drug supply, illegal drug prices have generally decreased while drug purity has generally increased since 1990. These findings suggest that expanding efforts at controlling the global illegal drug market through law enforcement are failing.
Authors of a new report from the Center for Juvenile and Criminal Justice, a San Francisco nonprofit that seeks to reduce incarceration, reviewed data on requests by ICE to law enforcement agencies to detain adult suspected undocumented immigrants. “According to these data,” wrote authors Mike Males and Selena Teji, “an undocumented foreign national with a traffic offense is more likely to be booked into ICE detention than one with a homicide, forcible rape, robbery, or aggravated assault offense.” The authors also found that “a suspected undocumented immigrant with a prior or contemporaneous conviction for possessing less than an ounce of marijuana – which is no longer even a crime in California – is more likely to face ICE detention (73.1 percent) than one with a rape conviction (69.7 percent).
Unfortunately, the reforms Holder announced so far do not have a retroactive component so hundreds of thousands of non-violent offenders like Cameron Douglas with drug addiction issues are still being warehoused and forgotten. “Federal prisons are full of people who don’t need to be there,” says Jeremy Haile, federal advocacy counsel for the Sentencing Project, “instead they need drug treatment and it’s not clear how much treatment is available or if any of that treatment is adequate”. Recidivism rates among drug offenders would suggest that whatever treatment is on offer is not remotely adequate and there is no evidence that the prison system plans to reform its treatment policies.
In an open letter published by the Huffington Post in June of this year, Cameron Douglas attempted to raise awareness of his own predicament and that of other non-violent offenders who have been left to rot in prison. He wrote:Unfortunately, whereas the effective remedy for relapse should be treatment, the penal system’s ‘answer’ is to lock the door and throw away the key.