How Heroin Addiction's Rural Spread Changed the War on Drugs
In the late 1960s and early 1970s, America’s inner cities were wracked by an epidemic of heroin addiction and the crime that went with it. New York State responded with harsh drug laws, including mandatory minimum sentences up to life in prison for selling just one ounce of heroin. Soon, other states and the federal government adopted similar laws, and the nation’s prisons filled up with non-violent drug offenders, mostly young black men.
From time to time over the past 40 years, efforts were made to treat heroin addiction as a public health instead of a crime problem. But they were not successful.
More Like This
Do Whistleblower Protections Work? Ask This One.
A case from almost a decade ago reveals the peril faced by whistleblowers seeking to expose wrongdoing.
Trump’s Immigration Rhetoric Echoes a Bitter Fight from the 90s
Today's immigration policies echo an anti-immigration movement 25 years ago in California.
A New Housing Program to Fight Poverty has an Unexpected History
Some cities are trying to help poor children succeed by having their families move to middle-income, so-called "opportunity areas" -- an idea that was once politically impossible.
Lingering Peril From Lead Paint
About half a million children have dangerously high lead levels in their blood, mostly from exposure to peeling paint and contaminated dust. The fight over who should clean it up has lasted for decades.