The Changing Racial Dynamics of the War on Drugs.
The Sentencing Project
has just released a report
(pdf) finding that, for the first time in 20 years, the number
of Black Americans in state prison for drug offenses has fallen. Between 1999 and 2005, the number of White drug offenders in state prisons rose about 43 percent, while the number of Black offenders declined by 22 percent. One cause may be a rise in the use of drug courts
, which are locally administered programs that divert offenders into treatment rather than incarceration. The Sentencing Project has a recent report
(pdf) on this issue as well.
The US Sentencing Commission
has recommended that Federal sentencing guidelines
be reduced for crimes involving crack cocaine -- and is now deliberating making the new guidelines retroactive for prisoners already incarcerated
. [WaPo] If taken into effect, about 3,800 inmates could be released by this time next year. [more inside]
Tommy Chong in prison.
3 months into his 9 month prison sentence for selling bongs, the LA City Beat talks to Tommy Chong and the LA Weekly talks with his family
about the details of his case. [Via Drug WarRant