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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 136510 Find in a Library
Title: Report From the Front Line: The Bennett Plan, Street-Level Drug Enforcement in New York City and the Legalization Debate
Journal: Hofstra Law Review  Volume:18  Issue:3  Dated:(Spring 1990)  Pages:795-830
Author(s): M Z Letwin
Date Published: 1990
Page Count: 36
Type: Legislation/Policy Analysis
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This article assesses the urban drug war in New York City, which is being conducted in accordance with the policies of the Bush administration and is known as the "Bennett Plan."
Abstract: The Bennett Plan rejects drug legalization and commits 70 percent of proposed resources to criminal justice efforts. The domestic portion of the plan emphasizes an increase in street-level narcotics enforcement directed at the inner-city crack crisis. This article argues that the two largest anti-drug efforts in New York City, Operation Pressure Point I (OPP-I) and the Tactical Narcotics Teams (TNT), have failed to stem the crisis. OPP-I uses foot patrol to disperse crowds, conduct searches and arrests, and question suspected buyers or sellers. Housing Authority and Transit Authority police have intensified patrols in the housing project and subways. Plainclothes officers conduct surveillance and "buy and bust" operations. The TNT strategy saturates drug-infested neighborhoods with large teams that perform undercover "buy and bust" operations for 30-day, 60-day, or 90-day periods. These teams then move on to the next target neighborhood and are replaced by smaller, permanent units. Drug dealers and buyers, however, have adjusted to these tactics. This article puts this failure in the context of the interaction between drug prohibition and oppressive social conditions in New York's inner city, particularly in the African-American communities. The article finally argues that the New York City experience illustrates the need for drug legalization, unprecedented programs to combat drug abuse, and a fundamental transformation in the overall condition of the inner-cities. 175 footnotes
Main Term(s): Drug legalization
Index Term(s): Decriminalization; Drug law enforcement; New York; Police effectiveness
Note: From a symposium on drug decriminalization.
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