Forty years ago, New York Governor Nelson Rockefeller launched his campaign for what came to be known as the Rockefeller drug laws. Rockefeller wanted tough prison sentences, even for low-level drug dealers and addicts. It was an idea that quickly spread, influencing state and Federal law across the US. In the decades since, the nation’s prison population has grown seven-fold, with more than 2 million men and women now behind bars. Over the next year, North Country Public Radio in cooperation with NPR and other member stations will look at ways the Rockefeller laws changed America and the North Country, from their impact on race relations to the growth of a booming national prison industry.
– Are prisons and prison jobs saving rural America?
– Illinois mothballs half dozen correctional facilities, despite crowding
– Transforming police into soldiers for the War on Drugs