In 2005, 35 million Americans (age 12 or older) committed an illegal act. They used an illicit drug
Higher Education is Less Accessible for Those With Drug Convictions A conviction for drug possession revokes eligibility for federal education assistance for at least one year A conviction for drug sales revokes eligibility for at least two years Eligibility can be reinstated if student completes a rehabilitation program and passes two unannounced drug tests In 2003-04 - 41,000 applicants denied loans (GAO, 2005)
Employment Options are Seriously Limited by Drug Conviction Earnings potential of non- white-collar workers appears to be harmed for at least one year after convicted felons re-enter communities Incarceration often occurs during career- building years Felons are barred from employment in many areas, including the military and government jobs, and are barred from receiving many licenses and permits Lack of employment can also mean a lack of health care benefits
A Felony Conviction Means the Loss of Political Power for Minority Communities Approximately 3.9 million felons are ineligible to vote after leaving prison More than a third of the disenfranchised are black Approximately 13% of all adult black males in this country are ineligible to vote This loss of political power often translates into a loss of access to services
Incarceration Does Not Prevent Further Drug Abuse It is unclear how much crime is averted, and drug use deterred by aggressive policing policies Incarceration does remove a portion of drug users and their related criminal activity from communities for an average of 2 years Incarceration has little or no positive impact on illicit drug use after convicted individuals return to communities Returns to prison related to drug use occur at high rates
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