Analysing Prison Drugs Policy: Problems, Networks and Contexts
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The drug issue in prisons is a global phenomenon and has become a policy concern in many countries. There are several groups which can be identified in relation to drugs within the prison population: those who are imprisoned for drug offences and who may also be drug users; those who are imprisoned for non-drug offences, but who are drug users; and those who begin using drugs during their prison sentences. The proportion of prisoners serving sentences for drug offences has increased dramatically over the last two decades. Reflecting the ‘war on drugs’ and introduction of mandatory minimum sentences for minor drug offences, the percentage of the federal prison population in the United States serving sentences for drug offences has more than doubled over the last 20 years from 25 per cent in 1980 to 55 per cent in 2001 (Federal Bureau of Prisons, 2002). In England and Wales, the percentage of male prisoners serving sentences for drug offences increased from 2 per cent in 1980 to 15 per cent in 2000. The percentage of women prisoners serving sentences for drug offences has increased even more sharply from 5 per cent in 1980 to almost twofifths (37 per cent) in 2000 (Home Office Prison Statistics, 2001).
KeywordsDrug User Criminal Justice System Civil Servant Policy Process Drug Policy
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