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Rosemary Bechler is openDemocracy’s Editor.

Constitutional conventions: best practice

Can the prison system be transformed? Shaka Senghor and #Cut50

A new campaign to be launched on March 26 aims to cut the U.S. prison population in half by 2025.

oD Drug Policy Forum: Front Line Report - Week of February 23rd 2012

The prison industrial complex has been one of the main beneficiaries of drug prohibition in the US. Since the Reagan administration, many prisons have become privatized, making a highly-profitable business of incarcerating people. The exponential increase in the prison population is a byproduct of similar drug policies in the Latin American region. Earlier this month, a catastrophic prison fire claimed the lives of over 300 inmates in Honduras, many being held on minor drug charges. As Canadian politicians consider mandatory minimum sentences for drug offenses, they are being asked by American law enforcement officials to learn from mistakes made on this side of the border in the ongoing War on Drugs... ~ jw

oD Drug Policy Forum: Front Line Report - Week of December 15th 2011

Switzerland and the autonomous Basque region of Spain decide to shift their marijuana policies in a more liberal, reformist direction. The governor of Arizona suddenly becomes a fan of federal law over states' rights and appeals to the courts to rule on the new voter-approved medical cannabis laws. Mexico, as always, maintains a high profile this week, from its nascent anti-cartel movement to the apparent incursion of trafficking violence across the US border. ~ jw

oD Drug Policy Forum: Front Line Report - Week of December 13th 2010

This week we lead with news of an horrific abuse of power by undercover narcotics agents which saw the unlawful killing of an innocent 92 year old woman and attempt to cover up the crime. The Report also discusses US prison reform, the new UK Government Drug Strategy with analysis from some of the key stakeholders, and includes a groundbreaking new UKDPC report about the stigmatisation of drug users ~ CS & MW
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