After several decades of a failed War on Drugs, we finally began to get it right. We stopped criminalizing those addicted to drugs and low-level drug offenders and began focusing attention on big time drug traffickers and those smuggling drugs into the country. Now, in the midst of a major opioid crisis, public officials at the Department of Justice have re-ignited the War on Drugs. Essentially, this is a War on People, which attacks those that are most critically impacted and who are in need of treatment. They are our nations workforce, our young people, and our future. We need smart solutions to the drug crisis, and offer treatment options to get people off drugs and back to being productive members of society.
Mass incarceration has lead to abuse and the exploitation of the incarcerated population, and the high numbers of poor and African American citizens is reflective of this nation’s past and the horrors of slavery and the Jim Crow system. And, similar to the institution of slavery, the 13th Amendment has sanctioned the atrocities, and our public officials have become complicit in the support of the new slave system. Individuals are doing hard labor and compensated at a rate of $.10 an hour in Ohio. Sadly, our children are subjected to these same systems. In Ohio, it costs taxpayers approximately $220,000 per year to incarcerate a child. The fact that tax payers are only spending $9000-$12,000 per year to educate them in the public school system creates the opportunity to exploit tax payers. Children should be educated, not incarcerated. The profit motive makes mass incarceration a U.S. and an Ohio problem, because while government bureaucrats, attorneys, and private prison owners are getting richer, our taxes continue to rise to cover the cost of housing many low level drug offenders.