War On Drugs Fostered Mass Incarceration

Neill Franklin has come a long way since his years as an undercover narc for the Maryland State Police then head of training for the Baltimore City Police Department.

He now heads Law Enforcement Against Prohibition in Silver Spring, an enemy of the war on drugs he fought so long.

Greg Carpenter has come a long way since the 20 years he spent in prison in Maryland, California and Georgia. For the last 15 years in Baltimore he’s been working to help prisoners re-enter society and last year served on the Gov. Martin O’Malley’s Re-Entry Task Force.

What brought the two men together Wednesday night in a downtown Baltimore office building was the launch of a new book, “Incarceration Generation,” in which each man authored a short essay in his area of expertise.

Prison population grew seven-fold in 40 years

Forty years ago, 204,211 people were held by U.S. prison authorities; in 2011, there were 1.6 million, a 780% increase while the U.S. population as a whole had grown by about 50%.

Produced by the Justice Policy Institute in Washington, “Incarceration Generation” documents how, why and to whom that happened. It gathers commentary from 19 researchers, advocates and people who have personally experienced the system.

– Read the entire article in Maryland Reporter.



  1. jah on

    If you are the big tree, let me tell you that
    We are the small axe, sharp and ready
    Ready to cut you down (well sharp)
    To cut you down. Bob Marley

  2. Mrs. Ratsrectum on

    This topic is perfect for a documentary on this topic. The War on Pot is a total crock of shit and needs to be drummed into Americans’ thick heads. If MSNBC doesn’t want to do a special on it, then CNN’s Spurlock or Frontline’s Moyers might. The reruns are great ratings boosters. I mean, you got MSNBC showing Lock Up and Caught on Camera. WTF, do the crockumentary expose, and make a miniseries out of it where you tell the stories of one victim of cannabis prohibition after another.

  3. Anonymous UK on

    More people incarcerated is not a measure of success. It must mean the failure of social policy in some way. In the War on drugs the number of arrests and people sent to prison is often touted as a success. The true measures of success are reductions in harm – less deaths, less addiction, less social harm. Prison alone does not provide that by any measure. I am interested to know what proportion of the prison population is for drugs offences then and now (I suspect the proportion has probably increased).