The Drug War’s Deadly Cost
In the wake of the deaths of young black men in Chicago, some Chicagoans are questioning how the city has managed to incarcerate young people in a way that leaves them at risk for addiction and violence.
A study by a group of experts released on Monday says the city’s treatment of the black community has left them at higher risk for criminal activity.
“If you take the whole group, which is the whole black community in Chicago that is at a higher risk, they are at a very high risk,” said Dr. David Bauder, who led the research.
Dr. Bauder says that while there has been a noticeable decrease in drug use, there is also a growing epidemic of addiction and homelessness.
The study found that in the past 15 years, black men between the ages of 18 and 25 have been incarcerated for an average of 1,500 days.
In comparison, the white community has been incarcerated at an average 1,600 days.
Dr Bauder said that there has not been an increased use of prescription opioids for black people in the US, but that the epidemic has become more prevalent.
“When we think about drug use in the context of the opioid epidemic, we think of people going to the streets and doing heroin, but it’s really the combination of that, the lack of education, and the lack in support for substance abuse that have created an enormous disparity,” he said.
“In Chicago, if you go to any bar, it’s more than likely you’re going to be dealing drugs.
If you’re a young black male, you’re more likely to be in a situation where you’re dealing drugs.”
The study looked at data from 2011-2016 from the Illinois Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation and found that black people between the age of 18 to 25 had an average incarceration rate of 1.4 times that of white people.
In the same period, the rate for young people between 25 and 34 years old was 4.7 times that for white people, with a significant difference between the two groups for women.
Dr Daniel Kahan, a criminologist at the University of Chicago, said that despite the fact that black youth are far more likely than other groups to be arrested and incarcerated, the criminal justice system does not seem to treat them differently.
“What we find is that incarceration rates are actually much higher for black men than for white men.
And there are significant disparities between men and women, so what’s driving that disparity is not just a disparity in the numbers of black men and white men, but also in the types of people that are being arrested,” he told The Irish Star.”
And there are very, very few people who have been sentenced to prison, so that’s why the disparity between the numbers is really striking.”
According to the study, black and white young men are far less likely to have been arrested for the same crimes and have more time behind bars.
Dr Kahan said the disparity was also evident in terms of the type of drugs used to get into trouble.
In addition to prescription drugs, he said that when it comes to alcohol and illicit drugs, the disparities between the black and the white young people are particularly striking.
“These are young people who are using marijuana at a much higher rate than white young adults, but the difference between black and whites is that white young women are using alcohol at a greater rate than black women,” he explained.
Dr Baker also said that while some cities have begun to try to tackle the issue of addiction, the situation for young black people is worse than in many other parts of the country.
“The incarceration rate for black males is 1,300 days.
For white males, it is 1.8 times,” he noted.”
We need to focus on young people, and we need to be mindful that when you start treating them as people and not as criminals, they start thinking that way and that becomes a much more dangerous situation for themselves and their families.”