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war on drugs
Over 60 per cent of prisoners are from racial and ethnic minority backgrounds. Half are African Americans, even though they comprise just over 12 per cent of the US population. The proportion of prisoners from minority groups has been growing steadily. One reason for this has been the disproportionate impact of drug sentencing policies on black (Americans. Between 1985 and 1995 drugs offences accounted for 42 percent of the increase in the number of blacks jailed, compared to 26 percent for whites.