Title of Abstract

Racial Discrimination and the War on Drugs: The Effects of Systematic Racism in the US

Faculty Mentor

Two WU mentors: Jennifer Leigh Disney, Ph.D.;disneyj@winthrop.edu; Brandon Ranallo-Benavidez, Ph.D.;benavidezb@winthrop.edu

College

College of Arts and Sciences

Department

Political Science

Faculty Mentor

Jennifer Disney, Ph.D. and Brandon Ranallo-Benavidez, Ph.D.

Abstract

Racial Discrimination and the War on Drugs: The Effects of Systematic Racism in the US

Racial discrimination is a controversial social problem in the United States which has been debated over the years by individuals as the fundamental cause of racial injustice in the prison system. The present study contributes to the literature by focusing on mass incarceration, specifically focusing on sentencing disparities in crack/cocaine and opioids from 1980 to the present. Furthermore, I will look at the War on Drugs from the Reagan Period to the present opioid crisis given the history of institutionalized racism. Race and class inequality have impacted drug policies, sentencing disparities, false imprisonment, and criminal justice reforms across this time period. I want to approach the topic by addressing prison reform: how people are looking at it today, how we got here, what does the problem look like, and proposals to make it better. This analysis will examine what criminal justice reforms have looked like throughout the years and what they achieved. I will analyze the problem and look at some examples of contemporary criminal justice reforms. I will showcase what has been successful and what has been limiting. I want to make policy recommendations on what still has to be done and what has not been accomplished in terms of prison reform looking at racial disparities in drug sentencing and false imprisonment.

Additional Fields About Your Abstract

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Course Assignment

PLSC 490- Disney/Ranallo-Benavidez

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Racial Discrimination and the War on Drugs: The Effects of Systematic Racism in the US

Racial Discrimination and the War on Drugs: The Effects of Systematic Racism in the US

Racial discrimination is a controversial social problem in the United States which has been debated over the years by individuals as the fundamental cause of racial injustice in the prison system. The present study contributes to the literature by focusing on mass incarceration, specifically focusing on sentencing disparities in crack/cocaine and opioids from 1980 to the present. Furthermore, I will look at the War on Drugs from the Reagan Period to the present opioid crisis given the history of institutionalized racism. Race and class inequality have impacted drug policies, sentencing disparities, false imprisonment, and criminal justice reforms across this time period. I want to approach the topic by addressing prison reform: how people are looking at it today, how we got here, what does the problem look like, and proposals to make it better. This analysis will examine what criminal justice reforms have looked like throughout the years and what they achieved. I will analyze the problem and look at some examples of contemporary criminal justice reforms. I will showcase what has been successful and what has been limiting. I want to make policy recommendations on what still has to be done and what has not been accomplished in terms of prison reform looking at racial disparities in drug sentencing and false imprisonment.