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The Changing Racial Dynamics of the War on Drugs

April 14, 2009

Examines the decrease in African Americans and increase in whites among those in state prisons for drug offenses and discusses possible factors, including trends in drug use, sales, arrests, drug courts, and sentencing policies. Considers implications.

Drug Courts: A Review of the Evidence

April 2, 2009

Provides an overview of drug courts designed to integrate drug treatment into the criminal justice system in cases of low-level defendants and reviews research on their operation, efficacy, and concerns about its impact on the prison population.

Criminal Justice Primer 2009: Policy Priorities for the 111th Congress

February 19, 2009

Outlines recommendations for criminal and juvenile justice policy, including reforming sentencing laws, analyzing racial/ethnic disparities, reducing youth gang involvement, and supporting efforts to assist former prisoners' reentry and reduce recidivism.

The State of Sentencing 2008: Developments in Policy and Practice

February 4, 2009

Summarizes key developments in state criminal justice policy in the areas of sentencing, drug policy, parole revocation, and racial justice. Makes recommendations for further reforms in 2009, including expanding alternatives to incarceration.

Incarcerated Parents and Their Children: Trends 1991-2007

February 1, 2009

Analyzes data compiled by the Bureau of Justice Statistics on number of parents in prison by race/ethnicity and other demographics, and highlights the increase in incarcerated mothers. Makes policy recommendations.

Disparity by Geography: The War on Drugs in America's Cities

May 1, 2008

Analyzes drug arrest patterns in cities between 1980 and 2003; the impact on the African-American community; and the consequences, for racial inequality, of taking a law enforcement -- not a public health -- approach to the war on drugs.