Fact Sheet

911 Good Samaritan Laws: Preventing Overdose Deaths, Saving Lives

July 30, 2014
Drug Policy Alliance

This fact sheet explains how 911 Good Samaritan laws can save lives. These laws protect people from arrest and prosecution for drug possession when they call 911 to report an overdose.

Bring Back Balance: Sentencing Reforms Save Money & Improve Realignment

June 26, 2011
ACLU of California, Drug Policy Alliance, and the Ella Baker Center

It's time to reform California's sentencing laws. Californians are fed up with misguided policies that have packed our prisons & jails, drained our state budget and led to one of the highest rates of recidivism in the country.

Taxing and Regulating Marijuana in California

California continues to fight a battle it cannot win. Every year, more and more people are arrested for marijuana possession. That enforcement disproportionately targets young people of color, especially African Americans. If California spent only a fraction of what it currently spends on marijuana arrests and prosecutions on drug treatment and education, we would be well on our way to a responsible marijuana policy.

What Is The Role Of Prisons And Jails In HIV Prevention?

March 1, 2009
Barry Zack MPH and Katie Kramer MSW/MPH

Criminal justice and public health systems can work together to provide comprehensive HIV prevention and treatment inside and outside correctional facilities. Incarceration presents a window of opportunity for primary prevention, screening, treatment and establishing comprehensive, pro-active transitional linkages for persons approaching release and follow-up.

Access to Sterile Syringes

Centers for Disease Control

These fact sheets focus on HIV prevention issues related to syringes.

Women, Prison and the Drug War

July 21, 2014

Need-to-know facts about women, prison and the drug war.

Charles Kwiatkowski's Story

Charles recalls, "I was hesitant about trying marijuana, worried about how or where I would get it, but I was desperate for relief. I couldn’t stand the pain. I wanted to be the husband and father my wife and three girls deserve. It worked. As a result of the relief medical marijuana provides me, I can do things that a normal 37 year-old can do, like cook dinner for my wife and give my three-year old a piggyback ride."

New Solutions Campaign: Mandatory Minimums Hurt Families, Children and Communities

Until recently, little thought was given to the negative consequences of incarcerating such large numbers of people. But a growing body of research has found that our policies of mass incarceration, especially as they relate to nonviolent drug law violators, are hurting the vulnerable families and communities they were meant to protect.

New Solutions Campaign: Out-of-Control Prison Growth

Over the last 20 years, the U.S. prison population has grown at a staggering rate. The engine driving this explosive growth has been the incarceration of nonviolent law offenders and mandatory minimum sentencing. The U.S. now has the largest prison population, numerically and per capita, in the world. More than 2.2 million people are incarcerated in the United States. One in one hundred adults in the U.S. is behind bars. The U.S. accounts for only five percent of the world’s population, but we account for 25 percent of the world’s prisoners.

New Solutions Campaign: Racial Disparities

New Jersey’s racial disparities in incarceration are above the national average. In New Jersey, African Americans and Latinos account for only 27 percent of the population but they account for 81 percent of those incarcerated in the state. While measures of drug use such as the National Household Survey on Drug Abuse consistently find similar rates of drug use for African American and whites, the rate of incarceration for drug offenses for African Americans far exceeds that for whites.

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