The Marshall Project

Three Strikes Didn’t Work. It’s Time to Pay Reparations

Black and brown men paid the price for supplying what the recreational drug market demanded: cocaine and weed.

I was raised in the South Bronx in the late 1980s and ’90s. I came of age and into my consciousness while a generation of men of color were herded into the criminal justice system under the rigid, unyielding habitual offender laws — three-strikes laws — for nonviolent drug-related offenses.

As shown in , the legacy of that policy that swept neighborhoods and entire cities clean of young men has been families broken apart, household incomes systematically gutted and swaths of urban

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