Criminal Justice Major Presents at Southern Criminal Justice Association Meeting

October 3, 2013 at 2:05 pm

A University of South Carolina Upstate student’s paper earned him a chance to speak at a regional conference.

Jonathan Tudor, a Criminal Justice major in the College of Arts and Sciences, presented a paper Sept. 18 -21 at the Southern Criminal Justice Association’s annual meeting in Virginia Beach, Va.

Tudor’s paper was titled, “The War on Drugs: An Overview of the Effectiveness, Costs and Alternatives to Current Drug Policy in the United States.”

Here’s an abstract from his work:

The War on Drugs was declared by President Richard Nixon and has continued to be enforced in varying degrees by every president since.  The War on Drugs utilizes a punitive approach to dealing with drug use which increases financial costs and has severe social consequences.  These consequences include a disproportionate effect on women and minorities, psychological trauma to children of incarcerated parents, damage to the family unit, increased criminal activity, limited rehabilitative opportunities, and unnecessary limitations on personal freedom.  These consequences of the War on Drugs are too severe to be ignored by policy makers yet they are due to sensationalized media coverage, ill-informed public opinions, and politicians capitalizing on the popular public sentiment.  Countries like Australia, the Netherlands, and Spain as well as multiple U.S. states have moved towards a rehabilitative approach toward drug use and have decriminalized drug use and possession in varying degrees.  These countries and states have decreased the financial as well as social costs of their drug policies while simultaneously lowering the rate of drug use and increasing the number of people seeking treatment.  More research needs to be done to determine if the same changes would have the same effect on a national level in the United States.