Thursday, March 23, 2006

and now for something completely different

a new study reveals that those "drug-free school zones" don't protect kids from drugs and boost the already disproportionate rate of incarceration of certain ethnic populations (sentences for crimes committed within the zones are more rigorous). every time i drive by one of those green and white signs i think how emblematic they are of the hopeless naiveté of the "war on drugs." and now to learn that they are both naive AND destructive of the communities they are meant to serve? wow.

destructive? yep. jailing an addict - which the majority of those involved with the drug trade are - instead of offering him treatment is a sure-fire way to ensure that as soon as he’s back on the streets, he’ll be buying and selling, and getting arrested, again. kids who grow up in communities where the adults are constantly in and out of prison obviously lack the supervision, role models and support they need to thrive later on. in this scenario, every child gets left behind.

yeah, it's naive to think that treatment alone is enough to solve urban drug problems and break the cycle of incarceration. but we've got to start somewhere. stepping off the old soapbox now...

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