The Drug War has been a failed disaster by any measure, destroying lives and bankrupting budgets across our great nation. The mass incarceration of nonviolent people for drugs has been a tragic epidemic that has disproportionately hurt people of color and citizens living in poverty. For far too long, politicians scored political points for being “tough on crime” and filling up prison cells. Filling up these prison cells became big business as private prisons became a powerful lobbying group working to continue failed Drug War policies, such as mandatory minimum sentences.
Fortunately, the need to reform our prison-industrial complex has become a moderate political position that candidates across political ideologies have begun to address. Bernie Sanders, who has surged in national and state polls against Democratic frontrunner Hillary Clinton, has stepped out first with an important bill that seeks to end the private prison racket.