New Jersey's Fiscal Year 2017 budget should prioritize reversing our
state's recent expansion of the failed "War on Drugs" and the
intentional use of collective violence on drug using populations.
Despite talking points of "reclaiming lives from addiction" and
"reducing prison populations" the state has endured a 30 percent
increase of drug possession arrests in the last few years.
The current proposed budget calls for $64 million to expand the Drug
Court program, an additional $127 million to increase provider rates
for substance use treatment and retrofitting Mid-State Prison as a
monolithic treatment center.
[continues 597 words]
The State of New Jersey is funding several reforms in the name of
abandoning the failed "war on drugs." These reforms include forcing
Drug Court (DC), funding re-entry services and retrofitting jails as
treatment centers. There is only one problem; these reforms actually
fund the "war on drugs."
The key tenet of the "war on drugs" is criminalizing people who use
drugs and stripping rights from them via arrest, incarceration and
institutionalization. These "reforms" are all post-arrest,
post-incarceration, and leave failed drug criminalization in tact.
[continues 164 words]