Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.


Shane Smith

Document Type


Publication Date

Spring 2022


For 40 years now, the War on Drugs has continued to damage millions of African American lives around the United States. As a result of failed drug control policies, not only have prisons become extremely overcrowded, but millions of people are still facing consequences such as massive poverty, broken family dynamics, violence, and tensions with law enforcement in their communities. Although this has become a contemporary issue, it is even more important to understand the origins of how this came to be. Digging to the source of the mess is the first step to understanding how we, as a society, can move forward and fix the issue. Massive prison booms and violence did not just arbitrarily hit these communities, but it was a result of failed government intervention that started in the 1970s and 1980s.

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