skip to main content
skip to newscasts

Sunday, April 21, 2024

Public News Service Logo
facebook instagram linkedin reddit youtube twitter
view newscast page
play newscast audioPlay

Tribal advocates keep up legal pressure for fair political maps; 12-member jury sworn in for Trump's historic criminal trial; the importance of healthcare decision planning; and a debt dilemma: poll shows how many people wrestle with college costs.

view newscast page
play newscast audioPlay

Civil rights activists say a court ruling could end the right to protest in three southern states, a federal judge lets January 6th lawsuits proceed against former President Trump, and police arrest dozens at a Columbia University Gaza protest.

view newscast page
play newscast audioPlay

Rural Wyoming needs more vocational teachers to sustain its workforce pipeline, Ohio environmental advocates fear harm from a proposal to open 40-thousand forest acres to fracking and rural communities build bike trail systems to promote nature, boost the economy.

Study Finds Stiffer Prison Terms Don’t Deter Drug Use

play audio
Play

Thursday, March 22, 2018   

NEW YORK — A new, 50-state study finds that putting more people in jail for drug offenses doesn't reduce drug use or overdose deaths.

On Monday, President Donald Trump called for harsher sentences, including the death penalty for drug traffickers, to combat the opioid epidemic. Jake Horowitz, director of research and policy at Pew Charitable Trusts' Public Safety Performance Project, said they compared states' drug imprisonment rates to rates of drug use, overdose death and drug arrests, and found no correlation at all.

"These findings reinforce a large body of prior research that casts doubt on the theory that stiffer prison terms deter drug misuse, distribution and other drug law violations,” Horowitz said.

New York, for example, ranked 41st for drug imprisonment and had 11.6 overdose deaths per 100,000 residents - a relatively low ratio. But Louisiana, with the highest incarceration rate in the nation, experienced overdose deaths at a rate almost 44 percent higher than New York.

But while increased incarceration rates have no significant effect on drug use, Horowitz noted that stiffer prison terms do have a dramatic impacts on everyone else.

"Putting more drug law violators behind bars for longer periods of time has generated an enormous cost for taxpayers, but has not yielded a convincing public safety return on those investments,” he said.

Since 1980 the number of Americans in state and federal prisons for drug law violations has exploded from fewer than 25,000 to more than a quarter-million. Horowitz said Pew has polled voters nationally and found broad, bipartisan support for reducing prison penalties for drug crimes.

"In states like Maryland we note 75 percent of voters agree that imposing longer prison terms is the wrong way to break the cycle of crime and addiction,” Horowitz said. “And these kinds of findings span from Louisiana to Utah, red and blue states across the country."

He added research shows the most effective response to drug misuse includes treatment, prevention and alternatives to incarceration for nonviolent drug offenders.


get more stories like this via email

more stories
The Bureau of Land Management's newly issued Public Lands Rule is designed to safeguard cultural resources such as New Mexico's Chaco Culture National Park. (Photo courtesy SallyPaez)

Environment

play sound

Balancing the needs of the many with those who have traditionally reaped benefits from public lands is behind a new rule issued Thursday by the Bureau…


Health and Wellness

play sound

Alzheimer's disease is the eighth-leading cause of death in Pennsylvania. A documentary on the topic debuts Saturday in Pittsburgh. "Remember Me: …

Social Issues

play sound

April is Financial Literacy Month, when the focus is on learning smart money habits but also how to protect yourself from fraud. One problem on the …


Outdoor recreation added $11.7 million to the Arizona economy in 2022, according to the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis. (Adobe Stock)

Environment

play sound

Arizona conservation groups and sportsmen alike say they're pleased the Bureau of Land Management will now recognize conservation as an integral part …

play sound

Across the U.S., most political boundaries tied to the 2020 Census have been in place for a while, but a national project on map fairness for …

The 2023 Annie E. Casey Foundation Data Book ranked Arkansas 37th in the nation for education, and said 56% of young children were not in preschool programs to help get them ready for school. (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

play sound

The need for child care and early learning is critical, especially in rural Arkansas. One nonprofit is working to fill those gaps by giving providers …

Environment

play sound

An annual march for farmworkers' rights is being held Sunday in northwest Washington. This year, marchers are focusing on the conditions for local …

Social Issues

play sound

A new Gallup and Lumina Foundation poll unveils a concerning reality: Hoosiers may lack clarity about the true cost of higher education. The survey …

 

Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member- and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright © 2021