Crime, Drug Policy & the Courts, Research Paper Example
Words: 3033Research Paper
Fundamental Issues on the Campaign Trail
The people of the Tenth Congressional District of North Carolina State are progressive and very socially aware of the need for responsible a government. A government that serves the will of the people is created, maintained and validated by the policy formulation organs of this country. And in that pack of organs, the US Congress is the lead authority. As I seek for the representative position in Congress for such an informed people, I know that my core responsibility remains the upholding of the morals and constitutional mandate assigned the US government by the American people.
For this reason, I find it a personal responsibility to rise and fight for a course that seems to have taken a backseat in our policy formulation and enactment. I am deeply convinced that as we battle the challenges of this great nation in this new century, the problem of drug abuse and its resultant repucursions must be given priority by the current administration.
My purpose and intent in this campaign is thus to seek the mandate to champion the course of fighting drug abuse among our youthful Americans and the effects it has on our economy, our morals, our family institutions, our social responsibilities and our future as a superpower. I seek to take a lead in guaranteeing Congressional support in this singular vice that is wrecking our nation. Towards this end, I am a strong supporter of stiffer penalties for any convicted drug dealer and offender. I will seek to legislate an efficient management of drug related federal grants aimed at assisting local law enforcement agencies to eradicate the problem of drug trafficking and use. I will sponsor and cosponsor where possible, numerous comprehensive corrective bills that seek to address these pertinent goals. In specific, I am deeply concerned about rising methamphetamine trafficking, use and production in America today. Countering this ever threatening phenomenon shall punctuate my term in Congress.
The will of the American people and that of the Tenth District of North Carolina residents in particular, can be easily discerned today (Henderson, 1998). Seeing our sons and daughters crumble under the burden of drug addiction, seeing potential being wasted by a few injections, watching as schools become drug retailing dens, seeing neighborhoods transform into drug markets, leaves almost every patriotic American in tears.
I will therefore, resolutely support the death penalty as a way or deterring the criminal elements in our society from overtaking morals and annulling social progress. I will oppose any effort by contemporary activist judges seeking to enlist left wing agenda in our constitution despite a contrary decree of the American people. I will support any legal limits to the term of federal judges to ensure that judges interpret law and never create them. The current trend has seen judges assume a legislative power biased towards a destructive liberalism. My mission to congress is to stop this trend now, before our society is doomed.
After enacting heavy punishment for dealers and traffickers and ensuring that our judiciary is cognizant of their interpretive role in fighting drug crimes, I appreciate the need to treat our addicted brothers and sisters from the drugs. As I stand for Congress, it is in the strong conviction that this country must invest heavily and consistently in drug courts. Fact is, there are so many American youths today hooked into drug abuse. Taking all of them to prison will rob the society of an essential portion of the human resource base.
We will also have to bear the burden of maintaining millions of addicts in prison. As soon as their term is over, they will return into the streets and pick up their drug dealing engagements from where they left. The cycle will continue and we will have amplified rather than solved the problem. Treatment for drug addicts must go beyond criminalizing addiction. As it is, drug addicts are our brothers, sisters, sons and spouses. The single most effective treatment solution and which will help reduce both crime and recidivism especially among non-violent drug addicts and drug offenders remains the drug courts. The drug courts can be fully fledged into our society at a minimal fraction of total costs incurred when we send them to our prisons (Cockburn & Clair, 1998).
The Campaign Up-Close
My campaign for Congress will be earmarked by an emotional appeal to all sectors of the society to see me as their next best chance in overcoming a problem they all have. Every sector of the society, every family and every neighborhood in America today has been affected by the drug abuse problem, especially by methamphetamine. By making this sensitive and socially important issue a clarion call, I will be appealing to the emotional support of every member of the society.
Those who have had a brother, sister, father, mother or friend go down with drug abuse, will definitely formulate the major part of my electorates. To reach to them, I will ensure that I bombard local FM stations and TV channels with video and audio versions of my campaign platform, ensuring that the drug abuse problem is seen as the most urgent need that war on terror, education reform and any other contemporary issue in the public arena.
The social media networks such as Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Bing and the others, will be an essential and well exploited channel for my campaign messages. My campaign will benefit greatly from involvement with the numerous community organizations and whose mandate is drug abuse related. I will also try to publicize my campaign chiefly as an expansion and betterment of the existing successful drug abuse treatment programs, and not as a novel idea or initiative (association with drug courts as a success case needing more funding and muscle).
Effective use of the media will be easy in this instance since the media adores sensitive, human interest themes such as social evils of drug abuse. My campaign machine will be funded and championed by those who have an interest in the drug abuse fight. Creating and consolidating partnerships, as the State’s new effort to curb drug abuse will be the most important driving force of my campaign.
My campaign will be built upon a political standpoint of a social conservative Republican. The US Republican Party is today composed of factional interests one of which, and the most popular among the Republican masses, is the Social Conservatives. In the tradition of great social conservatives like Ronald Reagan, George Bush, Jack Kemp, Trent Lott and Sarah Palin among other American greats, my political ambition will have a promising background to source from (Hamburger & Wallsten, 2007).
Despite the factional groups being conflicting at times, there are so much shared across the board that all the groups remain in the same party. That means that although I will be vouching a social conservatives’ viewpoint, I will have a great chance of support in the Republican Party. As already noted, my emotional theme and campaign platform will ensure that even the democrats vote with their bruised hearts and not their party polarized minds.
Social conservatives have in the 21st century embraced the mandate of promoting the traditional American moral values both to preserve and to improve American society (Hamburger & Wallsten, 2007). This line of thought will rhyme perfectly with the emergent drug abuse problem that is threatening our moral fabrics as a nation. Further, social conservatisms is active in enacting traditionalist positions when issues on issues of drugs, judiciary and sexual standards are concerned.
My campaign theme will thus have found the right home. Just as they oppose abortions and gay marriages, so too will most social conservatives support anti-drug abuse initiatives. It is common knowledge that all, all social conservatives are in support of stronger law enforcement. Supporting stiff drug offender laws will be in tandem with this tradition. But to seek the appeal of libertarians proposing drug abuse treatment in drug courts will be an ideal mix.
Activism and Endorsements
To succeed in winning the approval of the voting masses, it will be essential that I seek for influential personalities, reputable organizations and respected interests groups to endorse my candidacy and most importantly, my mandate in the fight against dug abuse. Representatives from the Office of National Drug Control Policy, Drug Enforcement Administration and the National Association of Drug Court Professionals could help endorse my candidacy if they are present in my press conferences and campaign trails in their unofficial status. To depict the seriousness of the courts changes intoned in my speeches, members from relevant congress committees and subcommittees will serve the intended purpose.
I will recruit the services and assistance of the Students for Sensible Drug policy activist group that has a great grassroots network in North Carolina. I would also seek the support of the North Carolina State Meth Initiative personnel since this could help endorse my campaign at the local levels. Other organizations that I would solicit assistance and endorsement from include the American Council for Drug Education, which provides education on drug abuses, Street Drugs organization among other notable organizations.
Given that the single most efficient and influential media today is the internet, I will also endure that I have maximal online exposure by soliciting the endorsement of online platforms with a drug abuse related theme. Such platforms will include online organizations like, Center for Substance Abuse Prevention (CSAP), CSAP – Prevention Online, The Higher Education Center for Alcohol and Other Drug Abuse, Working Partners for an Alcohol- and Drug-Free Workplace, Prevention Online and National Anti-Drug Media Campaign among others.
The political base of my campaign will be cross-sectional in demographics. The drug abuse theme strikes a chord across the community; a chord shared many despite their social stratification. Halting drug abuse, trafficking and production requires the commitment of every community member, social group and organization (Henderson, 1998). Almost every individual feels the urge, the need and the responsibility of supporting such an initiative, except the drug dealers themselves. To not support the initiative seems like condoning it, something the voting populace will know consciously. This will thus construe a perfect, if not excellent impetus to fire my campaign. Those who support the campaign will be seeking to strengthen the existing partnerships towards eliminating the problem, needless to say towards my advancement.
Nonetheless, I will seek to enhance the participation and support of the youth, especially those socially aware of the need to prevent the drug abuse vice from getting out of hand. The voters will mainly be youths and there is a need to reach out to them. Parents also will feel the need to ensure that the community in which they bring up their children is safe from drugs (Henderson, 1998). As such, maximal efforts will be exerted towards recruiting youthful populations for support since parents will support the initiative almost as a default alternative and without the need for too much effort on converting them.
The Term in Congress
In essence, my term in congress will assume the mandate of fighting drug abuse from our streets, from our schools and from our homes. As detailed during campaign, I intend to fight the problem is a threefold approach. The first step will be seeking stiffer penalties for dealers, producers and traffickers. When these are instituted to law, especially death penalties and long sentences without parole, the convicted violators will have been punished justly and the violators to be will be deterred. Secondly, I will seek to sponsor legislation that enhances the judiciary’s legal mandate in the fight against drug abuse. This will help in ensuring that the courts help rather than deter the fight against drug abuse.
Finally and most importantly, I will Congressional dictate in helping addicts overcome their dependence through drug courts. While the stiff penalties and streamlined judicial responsibility are essential to address the problem in the long term, I feel that drug courts are a matter of urgency.
Justification for the Mandate
We need to ensure that those who violate drug abuse related laws are severely punished and potential violators are deterred. The courts ought to help in curbing the growing trend and not to complicate the justice process. This is important because the drug use trends have increased in all the prohibited categories except in opium. Since 1914’s Harrison act, heroin, cocaine and marijuana have risen in use and trafficking within the US borders. That means that we need to compound and enhance the objectives of the act where it has failed to achieve them. In modern time, methamphetamine has become the greatest threat to the youth when it comes to addiction (Henderson, 1998).
Exactly 25 years ago on March 5, Enrique Camarena, a Drug Enforcement Administration Special Agent was abducted and grisly murdered. His violent kidnapping and death reminds each American until today, the, potent, vicious and brutal impact of a drug ridden trafficking. Yet this problem is growing and not residing even today. Besides fighting the criminal nature of drug abuse, we also need to address the widespread addiction that has permeated the American society (Blow, 2002).
About 20 years ago, the drug courts were founded. Since then, the program has had phenomenal success. In my home state of North Carolina, methamphetamine as well as many other dangerous drugs has taken their toll on the community. Methamphetamine has crushed the moral auspices of our families, our schools and our businesses. We know that methamphetamine is a highly potent drug whose addiction is usually extremely difficult to overcome (Henderson, 1998). My interaction with involved agencies and private research has helped convince me that the intervention of drug courts is the most successful way to help addicts overcome their dependence on methamphetamine. I have heard and seen many crimes prevented, many families reunited and more importantly, many lives saved by drug courts.
By bringing prosecutors, judges, defense counsels, probation officers, specialists in substance abuse treatment, law enforcement experts, vocational and educational personnel, health workers and other resourceful partisans in our society together, drug courts will help us deal with this problem decisively and effectively (Cockburn & Clair, 1998). Additionally, drug courts effectively blend a court’s oversight with therapeutic assistance of drug treatment. If we enhance them, they could include comprehensive supervision capabilities, drug testing mandate, effective treatment services and even immediate incentives and sanctions to serve the objective (Segal, 2002).
The 2005 Justice Department report on Drug courts, their central role was recognized as the single most effective weapon against the methamphetamine addiction (Blow, 2002). These courts must then be adopted into the national strategy addressing methamphetamine epidemic as well as all other known substances. Yet in recent times, the federal government has been reducing the funding allocated the courts and committing the funds in other less successful programs (Segal, 2002). With their proven success, we ought to be adding funding for the courts, expanding their jurisdiction and empowering them further instead of limiting them.
Maintaining the effective drug court program today, costs 71% cheaper than arresting and incarcerating an addict who will most often be rearrested a few months after release (Blow, 2002). Over 60% of drug criminals who are sent to prison always re-offend. This can be compared to less than 17% of drug court graduates who are rearrested, according to the National Association of Drug Court Professionals 2008 report.
Contemporary Congress Actions on Drug related Issues
The drug war has been discussed by the Obama administration but not given the priority concern it deserves (Hewitt, 2009). Both Congress and the administration has in recent times shown support to the revelation that drug courts is the best national strategy to curb drug addiction. Nonetheless, there have been no moves made toward legalization the expansion and additional funding of the courts. There have been proposals in the Congress to award drug courts an increased funding to the tune of 250%.
Chances of Success
There needs to be a comprehensive bill that spells out a national plan that deals with the criminal element of drug abuse, help administrate effective treatment and ensure that the courts too, assist in attainment of the national objectives. This need has been spelt out by most Congressmen and women outside in isolated places and times within the last one year. The Obama administration has also expressed great support for a comprehensive bill that seeks to address the drug fight conclusively (Hewitt, 2009). My effort to sponsor such a bill will thus bear meet a rich ground of support and the chances of passing would be high.
In the past one decade, there has been a strengthened worldwide resolve and policy formulation in address the drug problem. Most legislators and activists today support increased domestic drug control, prevention and treatment programs in the US. Towards this end, the non-law enforcement programs such as Drug Courts have been seen as essential in capacity building and awareness campaigns against drugs (Segal, 2002). Also important is the improvement of the justice systems in helping towards bringing justice to the criminal elements involved. There is every reason that my campaign in congress will be successful.
Nevertheless, I can foresee that some liberal colleagues in Congress will try to block strict punishment to offenders, especially when it comes to the death penalty. The judiciary will also be naturally opposed to limiting their terms of tenure, which is an essential part of the campaign to streamline the judiciary as a toll of fighting drug related crimes. The president and his administration will most probably support expansion and additional funding for drug courts. However the administration will most likely try to block enactment of strong penalties such as the death sentence to drug trafficking offenders (Hewitt, 2009). The foreseeable obstacles are minimal and there is a chance that such a comprehensive bill could easily sail through Congress with some negotiations and tradeoffs.
Blow, F. (Ed). (1998). Substance Abuse among Older Adults: Treatment Improvement Protocol. Rockville: Center for substance abuse treatment
Cockburn, A. & Clair, J. (1998). Whiteout, the CIA, Drugs and the Press. New York: Verso
Hamburger, T. & Wallsten, P. (2007). One Party Country: The Republican Plan for Dominance in the 21st Century. New York: John Wiley & Sons.
Henderson, H. (1998). Drug Abuse. New York: Facts on File.
Hewitt, H. (2009). GOP 5.0: Republican Renewal under President Obama. New York: Townhall Press.
Segal, B. et al. (2002). Adolescent Substance Abuse Treatment in the United States: Exemplary Models from a National Evaluation Study. New Jersey: Routledge.
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