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This advertisement appeared in the National Review, the The New Republic, the American Prospect, the Weekly Standard, The Nation, Reason Magazine and The Progressive in the summer of 2002.

In the mid 1980s Congress abolished parole and passed harsh drug sentencing laws. Many states followed, creating a tenfold increase in the number of drug offenders incarcerated.1
If prisoners were able to earn earlier release:
  • Incentives toward cooperation, study, and learning skills would create a safer environment for staff and prisoners alike.
  • Families could be reunited earlier, with better prospects for successful reentry into society.
  • High costs of incarcerating drug offenders -- $9.4 billion annually2 -- would be dramatically reduced.
  • Inhuman prison overcrowding would be redressed. The federal system is already 31% over capacity, and is growing at more than 9% annually -- the equivalent of a prison a month to keep overcrowding from growing worse.3
  • Prisons would less likely be breeding grounds for extremists and terrorists.4
Isn't Rewarding Achievement The American Way?

Kevin B. Zeese, President, Common Sense for Drug Policy
3220 N Street NW #141, Washington, DC 20007
202-299-9780 -- 202-518-4028 (fax)
www.csdp.org -- www.DrugWarFacts.org -- www.AddictInTheFamily.org

1 Beck, Alan J., Prison and Jail Inmates at Midyear 1999, Washington, DC: Dept. of Justice, Bureau of Justice Statistics, April 2000; Maguire, Kathleen, and Ann L. Pastore, eds., Sourcebook of Criminal Justice Statistics 1998, Washington, DC: US Dept. of Justice, Bureau of Justice Statistics, 1998.
2 Profile of Jail Inmates 1996, Washington, DC: US Dept. of Justice, Bureau of Justice Statistics, April 1996, pp. 1, 4; Prisoners in 1996, Washington, DC: US Dept. of Justice, Bureau of Justice Statistics, 1997, pp. 10-11; Camp, George M., and Camille Graham Camp, The Corrections Yearbook 1998, Middletown, CT: Criminal Justice Institute, 1999.
3 US Dept. of Justice, "An analysis of nonviolent drug offenders with minimal criminal histories: Executive summary," US Dept. of Justice, Feb. 4, 1994, p. 13. "Since the end of 1988, when the full impact of these new laws was realized, the prison population has grown by an average of over 650 inmates per month, or enough to fill one medium size institution with each new month."
4 Thomas, Cal, "Radical Recruiting in US Prisons," Lancaster (PA) New Era, June 22, 2002; Young, Russell L., "Prison Revolts Foster Reform," Crime & Justice International, Vol. 17, No. 53, June 2001, pp. 9-10; Fleisher, Mark S., PhD, and Scott H. Decker, PhD, "Overview of the Challenge of Prison Gangs," Corrections Management Quarterly, Vol. 5, No. 1, 2001, pp. 1-9.

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