The relationship between war on drugs and prison overcrowding

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Question 1

The relationship between war on drugs and prison overcrowding

Depriving an individual their liberty remains one of the most alarming subject in relation to the way states exercise such powers. It is important to strike a balance between guaranteeing of public safety and respect of human rights. This is because justice system operations has repercussions in the society.The war on drugs has had a significant effect in the operation of justice and the systems of prisons. Drug control initiatives have led to a rise in number of people jailed because of drug related offenses. Severe law enforcements for such criminals have been ineffective in tackling consumption, production as well as trafficking of illegal substances. At the same time, the situation has resulted to prisons overcrowding, overwhelming caseloads on the judges, and suffering of high number of persons behind bars because of small drug offenses.

The drug laws weight has been felt with those considered disadvantaged and defenseless sectors of society.The brutality of the present  drug laws has contributed immensely to increases cases of  incarceration rates and overcrowding in prisons. A country such as Brazil saw the prison population locked because of drug offenses accounted for almost 27 percent of the total (Mauer, 170). Individuals accused and convicted because of drug offenses are mostly denied alternative sentences access available unlike persons accused of other offenses. The 2006 drug law tends to prohibits imprisonment replacement of with alternative sentences. Even though Brazilian law allows alternatives by sentencing a maximum of four years for every other offenses committed without violence, which is the case for various drug offenses (Welch, 50). In a country like  Peru, benefits permitted for  certain detainees  like  prohibition and  parole  are often  denied to individuals  imprisoned for drug offenses (Mauer,200). In Uruguay, a country considered to have the least castigatory legislation scant usage of alternative measures assures that several small drug offenders put behind bars.


Harsh drug laws implementation has fueled growing incarceration rates, which has contributed to serious prison overcrowding. There is a need for specific reforms to drug laws as well as implementation ,which could assist in  ease  of prison overcrowding whereas protecting the safety of the public with respect to civil and human rights. The incorporation of drug legislation in a state country’s criminal law together with codes rather than treating it independently from other offenses to ensure full respect of human rights. The establishment and expansion of incarceration alternatives for those responsible for small drug offenses, comprise of criminal sanctions removal .The promotion of reforms in the justice sector will eliminate corruption ,increase local judiciaries efficiency as well as increase government funding to enhance prison infrastructures.

Works cited

Mauer, Marc. “The Causes and Consequences of Prison Growth in the United States.”Violence & Abuse Abstracts. 7.3 (2001): 163-252. Print.

Welch, Michael P. D. “The War on Drugs and Correctional Warehousing.” Journal of Offender Rehabilitation. 25 (1997): 43-60. Print.

Question 2

Six Shared Principles in the war against drugs

Therapeutic jurisprudence has been used, and adopted by many American judges as ‘problem-solving’ courts. Problem-solving courts known as drug treatment, outcome-focused, together wi.............

Type: Essay || Words: 1102 Rating || Excellent

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