A Lifetime of Punishment: The Impact of the Federal Drug Ban on Welfare Benefits

Source: Marc Mauer and Virginia McCalmont, Sentencing Project, November 2013

From the summary:
A new report by The Sentencing Project finds that the nation’s “war on drugs” posture of recent decades may have a devastating impact on the health and safety of women and children of color and their communities.

The report, A Lifetime of Punishment: The Impact of the Federal Drug Ban on Welfare Benefits, concludes that a provision of the 1996 welfare reform legislation passed by Congress subjects an estimated 180,000 women in the 12 most impacted states to a lifetime ban on welfare benefits.

Highlights from the report:
– 12 states impose lifetime ban on welfare and food stamp benefits for all drug offenders; 25 others impose partial ban
– Racial disparities in drug war produce adverse effect on communities of color
– No evidence that the ban prevents drug abuse or welfare fraud