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November 20, 2013 (The Sentencing Project)

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

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
Read the full report here.
Issue Area(s): Racial Disparity, Women, Collateral Consequences