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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 155903 Find in a Library
Title: Hawks Ascendant: The Punitive Trend of American Drug Policy
Author(s): P Reuter
Corporate Author: Rand Corporation
United States of America
Date Published: 1992
Page Count: 38
Sponsoring Agency: Alfred P. Sloan Foundation
New York, NY 10020
Ford Foundation
New York, NY 10017
National Institute of Justice/
Rockville, MD 20849
Rand Corporation
Santa Monica, CA 90407-2138
Sale Source: Rand Corporation
1776 Main Street
P.O. Box 2138
Santa Monica, CA 90407-2138
United States of America

National Institute of Justice/
NCJRS paper reproduction
Box 6000, Dept F
Rockville, MD 20849
United States of America
Document: PDF
Type: Legislation/Policy Analysis
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: Borrowing from the classic essay of Nye, Allison, and Carnesale on approaches to preventing nuclear war, this essay combines the two debates on drug policy into a three-sided discussion among hawks (supply-side advocates), doves (legalizers), and owls (bold demand-side advocates) about the nature of the drug problem and the consequences of various approaches to controlling it.
Abstract: The essay first describes the increasing success of the hawks in making supply-side obstruction strategy the dominant feature of national drug policy, giving it a distinctively punitive hew. The essay then suggests that the hawks may have gone too far, since the punishment approach is expensive, not so much in terms of money, although it is a significant factor, but rather in terms of the human costs of locking up many people for relatively minor offenses and not locking up many others for more serious offenses. Intense enforcement also increases the harms caused by drug users to themselves and others. The author favors the position of the owls and recommends that costly punitive approaches should be reduced and money shifted to a less punitive regime. Owls focus on the damage that arises from heavy drug use by a relatively small number of those who become dependent. Owl policy would emphasize the development of improved and expanded health and social services aimed at reducing this group's drug use and at improving their social functioning. 65 notes
Main Term(s): Drug Policy
Index Term(s): Drug law enforcement; Police policies and procedures
Note: From the RAND Reprint Series.
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