South Carolina U.S. Attorney Has a Fresh Idea about the War on Drugs
Date:  04-20-2015

Keeping people out of prison is goal of federal prosecutor
The words “war on drugs” is still bandied about as if this so-called war has been victorious, or even meaningful. It hasn’t. Besides costing taxpayers trillions of dollars since its inception, it was more of a war on people of color than against drugs. ”Tough on Crime” was another catch-phrase that helped elect politicians who had no idea how the country would suffer as America became the world leader of incarcerating its people; disproportionately its people of color.

It took decades to realize that “the war on drugs” and “tough on crime” were no longer viable options to insure public safety. Criminal justice experts such as David Kennedy, Glenn Martin, and Malcolm Young, and organizations such as the Vera Institute, the Sentencing Project, the Safer Foundation and Right on Crime all drew together to promote more cost-efficient and effective ways to keep people out of prison and improve public safety.

Recently, another person is making news with his “novel” and “radical” approach to give a select group of drug dealers a chance to turn their lives around and avoid prison time. According to a recent article in the Huffington Post U.S. Attorney Bill Nettles, South Carolina’s number one federal prosecutor, “aims to clean up the streets by looking beyond mass arrests and incarceration.” Although Nettles’ objectives are similar to the “David Kennedy Model,” Nettles’ experience working as a public defender and criminal defense attorney might give him added insight to better enable him to help those who are genuinely hoping to turn their lives around.

Read more about Nettles and his goals here.