Still, it is the length of sentences that
truly distinguishes American prison policy. Indeed, the mere number of
sentences imposed here would not place the United States at the top of
the incarceration lists. If lists were compiled based on annual
admissions to prison per capita, several European countries would
outpace the United States. But American prison stays are much longer,
so the total incarceration rate is higher. ...
"Rises and falls in Canada's crime rate have
closely paralleled America's for 40 years," Mr.
Tonry wrote last year. "But its imprisonment rate has
*Racism of the Drug War. Charts. Revised. Many links and notes.
page linked just below has charts for black, white, and Hispanic inmate
rates in the USA; and U.S. state by state disenfranchisement (no voting
laws. Many drug war notes, and LINKS to many more charts. Republican
Democrat complicity. The drug war disenfranchises (no
millions of voters (mostly poor people of color). Modern corporate
of the poor. http://corporatism.tripod.com/charts5.htm
Mandatory-Minimum Drug Sentences.
For non-violent possession. Sentences double if prior felony drug
For second-tier offenses: Mandatory life sentence if 2 prior felony
states also have mandatory minimums of various kinds.
Type of Drug.
5 year sentence
without early parole.
10 year sentence
without early parole.
1 gram. 10 to 20 doses if carrier weight
Use the free Adobe
Reader to view the pdf file.
1 kilo is equal to 2.2 pounds.
1 kilo is 1 kilogram, which equals 1000 grams.
1 pound equals 454 grams. 1 ounce equals 28.35 grams.
A gram roughly equals a single packet of sweetener.
1 gram of powder cocaine is turned into 0.89 grams of crack.
Per capita use of crack is higher among whites than blacks.
"There are only two ways to avoid a mandatory minimum sentence.
First, the defendant may provide 'substantial assistance' to the
government by turning
in other defendants. Second, some defendants qualify for the 'safety
valve' that Congress passed in 1994 to address (at FAMMís urging)
excessive sentences served by non-violent drug offenders. If the judge
defendant is a low-level, non-violent, first-time offender who
the safety valve, the defendant may be sentences under the
guidelines instead of the mandatory minimum sentence law. Although the
valve is a step in the right direction, the criteria for
eligibility is very
narrow so thousands of nonviolent drug defendants are still sent to
for decades under mandatory minimum sentencing laws." - Emphasis
"In the federal system, there are two levels of mandatory minimums,
each level doubling for defendants with prior convictions. The
requires a minimum sentence of imprisonment for five years (10 with a
felony drug conviction), and the second tier requires a minimum of 10
with one prior felony drug conviction, and mandatory life with two
convictions). Of that, defendants can receive a reduction in the
serve in prison of only 54 days per year as a reward for 'good
means they must actually serve about 85% of their sentences."
-- David Risley, Assistant U.S. Attorney, Illinois. "Mandatory Minimum
Sentences. An Overview." From May 2000. Emphasis
*Marijuana Arrests and Incarceration in the United States.
marijuana prisoners were incarcerated in U.S. prisons and jails in
1997. If the
percentage of inmates who were marijuana prisoners stayed the same,
then in 2003 that means there would be around
44,000 inmates. http://www.mpp.org/arrests/prisoners.html
*Majority of over 2.4 million U.S.
in due to drug war.Drug offenders, plus inmates in for
drug-related crimes (such as
robbing to get money for drugs that are expensive because of the drug
drug trade crimes, plus drug-related parole violations, etc.. The
the world's highest incarceration rate. The USA has 5% of the world's
and 25% of the world's 9 million prisoners. The
Drug-War Industrial Complex. Statistics, references, links,
and charts: http://corporatism.tripod.com/majority.htm
*Shattered Lives, Human Rights and the Drug War. [Portraits
Drug War. Book by Mikki Norris, Chris Conrad, and Virginia
*National Rifle Association (NRA). Their
longer sentences, mandatory minimum
sentences, truth in sentencing. For both
violent and non-violent offenders, DRUG offenders, etc.. A far-right
Nazi-like cult for
the U.S. prison industrial complex, whether they
know it or not. Ban handguns, so
we can keep rifles and shotguns legal. Wimpy handguns don't defend
tyranny. We can end the drug war and
mass-incarceration tyranny a lot faster if
murders, handguns, and drug war violence were at Canadian, Australian,
Western European levels. http://corporatism.tripod.com/nra.htm
Ronald Wilson Reagan was president from January 1981 to January
1989. Here is a quote from
"The Fix" an excellent
recent 1998 book by Michael Massing. One may not
agree with all his
prescriptions for drug reform, but his history of US drug policy and mandatory
minimum drug sentencing is enlightening.
The [bracketed] info was added
from page 184 of the book "The Fix":
"Most significant of all were the changes voted in the criminal code.
Since 1970, the
federal government had had no mandatory minimum penalties for drug
offenses. Led by such
hard-liners as [Texas bubba-Republican] Senator Phil Gramm,
however, legislators approved  a series of whopping new sentences
tied solely to the
amount of drugs involved. ... Specifically targeting crack,
Congress voted to impose a mandatory minimum sentence of five
years for the
sale of just five grams of the drug. ... With the
passage of the
Abuse Act of 1986, the parent [Atlanta
bubba-P.R.I.D.E., Nancy-Reagan, Republican] model of drug
abuse had become,
in effect, the law of the land." Actually, it is five years just for
The book goes into VAST detail about how drug policy under
(yes, Nancy) from 1981 to 1988 shifted from an emphasis on
dealing with the
hard-core drug users in a slightly more public-health way in the 1970's
focus on zero tolerance, far less treatment, far more prison, "Just Say
gateway theory, and an all-out attack on cannabis. This was
BEFORE 1986 mandatory minimums at the federal level. Of course
mandatory minimums were first massively installed in 1973 in
New York by the
Republican Rockefeller laws. The whole "drug war" mentality
nearly always been led by Republicans. Democrats and the mass media
nearly always follow
their lead. In war, one goes after the officers whenever possible. SO
This from the "Snitch" PBS site:
"After bouncing back and forth between the Democratic
controlled House and the Republican controlled Senate
as each party jockeyed for political advantage, The Anti Drug
Abuse Act of
1986 finally passed both houses a few weeks before the
elections." Emphasis added.
From page 100 of the 1998 book "Drug Crazy" by Mike Gray: "In June
of 1982, Reagan reopened the War on Drugs with a broadside from the
Rose Garden. 'We're taking down the surrender flag that has flown over
so many drug efforts. We're running up a battle flag.'"
*Republicans lead U.S.
Drug War. Democrats follow Republican evil. Huge LINKS
list! U.S. Drug-war Industrial Complex.
Republican fundamentalist holy war. Friendly Fascism. Drug war leaders
are the rabid right, hate radio, hate television, NRA (National Rifle
Association), religious right, (snortin') George Bush the hypocrite,
drug war disenfranchises (no voting rights) millions of voters (mostly
Democrat-voting blacks). http://corporatism.tripod.com/gop.htm