Ending the New Jim Crow: Mapping New Drug Policies in NYC | Gabriel Sayegh

Earlier this month, New Yorkers elected the self-described progressive — Bill de Blasio — as mayor. Now, thanks to an innovative collaboration by foundations and community groups, New Yorkers are engaged in shaping the transition process for the new administration. Talking Transition is an “open conversation about the future of New York City,” a space where New Yorkers can share their questions, stories and ideas for the City’s future. This Saturday at Talking Transition, New Yorkers will gather to map the future of NYC’s drug policies, and the recommendations emerging from the town-hall style forum will be delivered to the new de Blasio Administration

New York City

For years, New York’s drug policies have criminalized health issues, failed to improve health and safety in our communities, and have led to serious problems, including mass incarceration, overdose deaths, fiscal waste, violations of civil rights and civil liberties and appalling racial disparities. Even after the recent reforms to the failed Rockefeller Drug Laws, drug policies in New York City and state remain guided primarily by the criminal justice system, where interventions often cause more harm than good.

But there is a growing consensus that the criminalization-focused war on drugs has failed. This week, New York State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman released a report analyzing NYPD‘s stop-and-frisk program. The analysis shows that low-level drug possession — including marijuana possession –are among the top arrests resulting from stop and frisk. The report highlights both the collateral consequences resulting from the stops and arrests — including threat of loss of employment, housing, student loans, and immigration status — and the associated racial disparities.

Read more via Ending the New Jim Crow: Mapping New Drug Policies in NYC | Gabriel Sayegh.

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