Unlocking America: Why and How to Reduce America's Prison Population

The JFA Institute

In the United States, every year since 1970, when only 196,429 persons were in state and federal prisons, the prison population has grown. Today there are over 1.5 million in state and federal prisons. Another 750,000 are in the nation’s jails. The growth has been constant—in years of rising crime and falling crime, in good economic times and bad, during wartime and while we were at peace. A generation of growth has produced prison populations that are now eight times what they were in 1970.

Adolescent Time Use, Risky Behavior and Outcomes: An Analysis of National Data

September 11, 1995
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

This government study shows a vastly disproportionate incidence of adolescent drug use and other dangerous behavior occurs during the unsupervised hours between the end of classes and parent’s arrival home in the evening.

Report of the GEAR Task Force on Sentencing and Corrections to Governor Corzine


The Task Force recommends a 200 foot school and public property drug zone law accompanied by higher penalties in the zone for the following reasons:

School-Based Drug Prevention: What Kind of Drug Use Does It Prevent?

January 1, 2002
RAND Corporation

In this study published by the RAND Corporation, the authors examine the social benefits of school-based drug prevention programs. 

Access to Sterile Syringes and Public Health Costs in New Jersey: Suggestions for Public Policy

November 1, 2003
Donald M. Scarry, J.D., Ph.D.
Commissioned by the Drug Policy Alliance

This report highlights the connections between New Jersey's restrictive distribution scheme for sterile syringes and the incidence of HIV/AIDS and Hepatitis C among injection drug users. The recommendation we offer in this report is simple and straightforward: Any steps New Jersey can take to increase access to sterile syringes should be immediately incorporated into a strong, aggressive public health strategy to combat injection drug use.

Are Zero Tolerance Policies Effective in the Schools?

December 1, 2008
American Psychological Association Zero Tolerance Task Force

A review by the American Psychological Association of school discipline research shows that zero tolerance policies developed in the 1980s to stop drug use and curtail unruly and violent behavior in schools are not as successful as previously thought in creating safer environments in which to learn.

After Prison: Roadblocks to Reentry

June 30, 2004
Legal Action Center

People with criminal records seeking reentry face a daunting array of counterproductive, debilitating and unreasonable roadblocks in almost every important aspect of life. In 2004, the Legal Action Center (LAC) completed and published After Prison: Roadblocks to Reentry, a comprehensive analysis and grade report of state laws and policies that serve as legal barriers to reentry in the areas of employment, public housing, public benefits, voting, access to criminal records, adoptive and foster parenting, and drivers' licenses.

Costs and Benefits? The Impact of Drug Incarceration in New Jersey

October 1, 2003
Schiraldi, Vincent and Ziedenberg, Jason
A Justice Policy Institute Report Commissioned by the Drug Policy Alliance

Sinning & Sinned Against: The Stigmatisation Of Problem Drug Users

August 1, 2010
Charlie Lloyd
The UK Drug Policy Commission (UKDPC)

This report aims to summarise what the research evidence has to tell us about the stigmatisation of problem drug users; to explore the nature of this stigmatisation, its impacts and why it happens. These considerations raise some fundamental issues about the nature of addiction and the extent to which it is seen as a moral, medical or social issue. They also raise important questions about autonomy and the blame attached to addiction.

Harm Reduction: Evidence, Impacts and Challenges

April 20, 2010

This volume includes a variety of perspectives on harm reduction approaches, together with an analysis of the concept's role within drug policies, both in Europe and beyond. Readers may not necessarily agree with all of the arguments made or the conclusiondrawn, but we hope it is perceived as a valuable contribution to the ongoing debate on how to respond to contemporary drug problems in Europe.

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