Rethinking Incarceration

Episode 2

The War on Drugs

Since its launch in 1971, the War on Drugs has been the primary driver of the unprecedented growth within the U.S. criminal justice system. Another byproduct of the drug war has been the increased militarization of state and local police. The special task forces created to wage this war have been legislatively empowered to perform militia-like invasions—like dramatic entry raids—that needlessly put lives at risk. When we consider cases like Kathryn Johnston’s, we must acknowledge that “we have a responsibility to defend the dignity of society’s most vulnerable,” says Gilliard. However, policies like no-knock warrants, “put both police and citizens at risk. These policies do not enhance our society, make our communities safer, or reflect God’s love and justice.”