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      Gang and Drug-Related Homicides, Incarceration Facts, & Budget Costs


      US national estimate, gang-related: 25,000, 1980-present [Hayden, Street Wars, The New Press, 2005]

      Los Angeles, gang-related: 13,928, from 1980-2009. [LAPD data]

      US drug overdoses increased over 400 percent in the period of 1980-99, and more than doubled between 1999 and 2005. The total overdose deaths between 1999 and 2005 was 112,865. [CDC, via Drug Policy Alliance]

      Mexico: 22,700 deaths in border drug wars since the election of Felipe Calderon in 2006. [CNN]

      Colombia: according to Colombian government data, 20,915 "subversives" and government forces have been killed since 2002;  plus an additional 14,028 civilians.

      Afghanistan: 10,000 died of overdoses in NATO countries during 2009 alone from Afghanistan heroin.[1]

      American VA reports 22,000 Iraq and Afghanistan veterans sought drug treatment in 2009, up from 9,000 in 2006.


      -       According to the New York Times, the US has under five percent of the world's population but nearly one-fourth of the world's inmates. [2]
       -       Total inmates, 2008: 2.3 millon, highest in world; China is second with 1.6 million inmates and four times the US population;
      -       US has 751 inmates per 100,000 population; Russia is second with 627/100,000; England has 151/100,000; Germany 88/100,000; Japan, 63/100,000.
      -       These rates have escalated since the Reagan era; from 1925 to 1975, the rate was stable at 110/100,000.
      -       In 1980, there were 40,000 in jails and prisons on drug charges; current numbers are 500,000, approximately.


      -       After 40 years, $1 trillion from US taxpayers. [AP, May 13, 2010.
      -       From $100 million in first Nixon budget to $15.1 billion in 2010;
      -       $20 billion to fight drug gangs in Colombia, Mexico and other countries;
      -       $49 billion for policing US borders;
      -       $450 billion to incarcerate 37 million nonviolent drug offenders;
      -       $215 billion, according to the Department of Justice, for an "overburdened justice system, a strained health care system, lost productivity and environmental destruction."
      -       Obama's current budget request: $15.5 billion for drug war, $5.6 billion for prevention and treatment.


      [1]  "Report Shows Afghan Drugs Reach Deep in the West", NYT, Oct 23, 2009.

      [2]  Adam Liptak, "US Prison Population Dwarfs that of Other Nations", NYT, April 23, 2008.

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      Reader Comments (1)

      Just goes to show how much of a bad thing drugs are. On an international level and on a personal level.

      Brad Kline

      November 12, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterBrad Kline

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