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The Drug War's Forgotten Casualties: Women, Children, and The Destruction of Family

Start/End Wednesday, November 13, 2013 12:15 PM EST -- 01:15 PM EST
Location Name Case Lounge

The U.S. has the highest rate of incarceration of any country in the world—more than England, France, Germany, Italy, and Spain combined. In 2010, the U.S. federal government expended $15 billion dollars in its War on Drugs, at a rate of $30,000 per minute and $1,800,000 per hour. However, the drug war exacts a toll on state and local governments as well, costing them an estimated $25 billion in 2010. These stark figures frame the economic costs of this nation’s drug war, but do little to explain and account for its broader social implications, which extend to women, children, and the family. Much of the nation’s current incarcerated population, including women, are drug offenders—many of them first-time offenders—caught in the powerful, punitive grip of the U.S. War on Drugs. Professor Goodwin's talk highlights the 800% increase in the rate of female incarceration over the past three decades, noting that the rate of female incarceration for drug offenses now surpasses that of men. This project analyzes the hidden costs of the U.S. drug war, arguing that the externalities include not only perverse economic consequences, but extend to women and children as the drug war’s forgotten casualties.