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NCJ Number: 162560 Find in a Library
Title: Women Drug Couriers: Sentencing Reform Needed for Prisoners of War
Journal: Criminal Justice  Dated:(Winter 1995)  Pages:15-19,58-62
Author(s): T Huling
Date Published: 1995
Page Count: 10
Type: Legislation/Policy Analysis
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: The little that is known about drug couriers indicates that female drug couriers should be a focus of particular concern, because national sentencing policies that tie sanctions to drug amounts and limit judicial consideration of mitigating factors may disproportionately affect women, despite their marginal roles in drug trafficking.
Abstract: Female drug couriers also tend to have little if any prior criminal history and often are the sole caretakers of young children. Interviews with women arrested for smuggling drugs at New York City's Kennedy Airport revealed that many women claimed they were innocent. They said that they had been tricked by people who planted drugs in their belongings or coerced by threats of violence and death. Those who said that they were indeed guilty spoke of their duties as the sister, daughter, or wife of a drug dealer or of financial difficulties caused by business problems or a husband's departure. Despite their desperate personal circumstances and their marginal status in the international drug trade, almost all national authorities focus enforcement efforts and penalties on drug mules. Their roles preclude them from benefiting from laws' provisions for lifetime probation in exchange for material assistance and can result in harsh mandatory prison sentences. However, recent research findings are leading to advocacy for sentencing reform related to drug couriers and other low- level drug offenders. Figure
Main Term(s): Drug offenders
Index Term(s): Drug law offenses; Female offenders; Sentencing reform
Note: DCC
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