Economics/Class Relations

The War on Drugs: a war on the urban poor & minorties

No surprises here. Think Progress writes:

From Porter’s perspective, drug-free zones remain because “at the end of the day, these questions boil down to politics. The school zones have their most impact in urban areas where the electorate is often poor and is often of color.”

Bridgeport is home to roughly 37,000 kids, a third of whom live below the poverty level. You can’t walk more than two blocks in the city without running into one of 37 public schools, four charter schools or five public housing buildings. Countless daycare centers are also housed inside commercial buildings or wedged into strip malls along busy highways. As a result, drug-free zones cover almost all of the city’s 16 square miles. Researchers at the Prison Policy Initiative found that 92 percent of the city’s residents live within an enhanced sentencing zone.

“Everywhere’s a school zone, so it doesn’t make a difference,” said Pernell Clemonts, who was charged with conspiracy to sell narcotics within 1500 feet of a school when he was 16 years old. Cops caught him with drugs in front of his apartment, which was half a mile from an elementary school.

Leave a Reply