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Saving Our CitiesA Progressive Plan to Transform Urban America$
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William W. Goldsmith

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9781501704314

Published to Cornell Scholarship Online: May 2017

DOI: 10.7591/cornell/9781501704314.001.0001

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Drugs, Prisons, and Neighborhoods

Drugs, Prisons, and Neighborhoods

(p.157) 6 Drugs, Prisons, and Neighborhoods
Saving Our Cities

William W. Goldsmith

Cornell University Press

This chapter focuses on the drug war. Those who enforce drug laws attack inner-city neighborhoods directly, drastically disrupting the lives of poor black and Latino residents. Cities at their best are highly productive and just, but the drug war powerfully undercuts that potential. It discourages diversity, fairness, and democracy. It also reduces social, technological, and economic innovation. Thus, solid arguments demand the inclusion of drug issues as part of urban policy. As public policy, the drug war contradicts the broad conservative push for urban austerity, while at the same time exacerbating the need for public expenditure. For decades, public spending on the drug war and closely associated prison operations has constituted a major growth industry. And yet, much like defense spending, drug-war spending is supported most strongly by those who otherwise favor austerity.

Keywords:   drug war, drug laws, black residents, Latino residents, urban austerity, public expenditure, prison operations, drug-war spending

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