Notes on a web journey

posted on: 28 August 2007

Opium and prisons

filed under: @ 08:43:51 by 7colors

Favourable weather, Taliban insurgents and corrupt government officials all contributed to this year's record poppy haul, which has edged Afghanistan perilously close to becoming a full narco-state. The opium trade involves 3.3 million of Afghanistan's 23 million population, according to the UNODC, and accounts for more than half of its estimated $7.5bn (£3.7bn) gross domestic product.

UN horrified by surge in opium trade in Helmand

Politicians in all parties routinely assume that voters think prison works. But 51% of those questioned want the government to find other ways to punish criminals and deter crime.

More prisons are not the answer

Two examples of the same wrong approach: instead of fixing the causes patching up the effects. Prison is not good, never redeemed anyone. Opium trade exists because there are arms to be bought with the profits and wars to be fought because of messy economics and politics.

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