Monthly Archives: January, 2014

Redefining Global Drug Policy: Uruguay’s Move to Legalize Marijuana

General consensus that the War on Drugs has failed is growing. As many communities establish a consensus that the War on Drugs is unsuccessful, alternative approaches to addiction and drug-related violence are being adopted. In the past 40 years, the United States has spent roughly $1 trillion on the War on Drugs, with limited positive results to show for it. Thus, a new approach must be taken to combat addiction issues and drug trafficking, as well as the human rights abuses related to criminalization tactics. Uruguay presents a prominent new example; on December 12, Uruguay became the first country to legalize the production, distribution and sale of marijuana, initiating a new approach to the War on Drugs. Continue reading →

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The Privatization Let-Down

Whilst there is a long history to the use of private companies to transport or house prisoners, the use of for-profit prisons in modern times emerged quite recently in the 1980s and 1990s. The governments of countries such as Canada, the United States, Australia, New Zealand and the United Kingdom have relied increasingly on the use of for-profit private facilities to house inmates, in addition to other services. There has, however, been a momentary stoppage to the utilisation of private services for “tagging” – the post-conviction electronic monitoring of offenders—in England and Wales, as private security giants Serco and G4S have been stripped of these previously-contracted responsibilities after damning investigations into allegations the firms overcharged the UK government. At the same time, damning allegations have been made against HMP Peterborough, a Sodexo-run prison in the UK. These apparent failures and questionable practices have in part led UK Shadow Justice Secretary Sadiq Khan to voice support for the “renationalization” of private prisons who fail to meet rigorous inspection. Continue reading →