This meaty episode digs into the modern escalation of the War on Drugs through a rhetorical analysis of the 1989 National Drug Control Strategy, a review of the concrete policing and sentencing policies which lead to the exponential rise in prison populations, and a ground-level description of the militarization of an Oregon police force from an officer who left his department after it adopted militarized uniforms, equipments, and tactics.
Check out the 1989 National Drug Control Strategy for yourself, and pay particular attention to the Introductory Letter authored by William Bennett. Then check out the NY Times Op-Ed "Bennett's Sham Epidemic" by Criminologists Franklin Zimring and Gordon Hawkins, who debunk the statistics used to claim that crack use was "spreading - like a plague."
To learn more about the War on Drugs and its impact on law enforcement and the criminal justice system:
- Read Chasing the Scream: The First and Last Days of the War on Drugs by Johann Hari
- Watch The House I Live In, a documentary on the War on Drugs by Eugene Jarecki
- Watch Journalist Rodney Balko discuss his book Rise of the Warrior Cop: The Militarization of America's Police Forces