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A Stochastic Study of Incarceration Times for Narcotic Distributors in a City under "The Three Strikes Law"

Narcotics ruins peoples' lives in the United States everyday. The United States government not only imposes stiff sentences on drug dealers but also spends billions of dollars a year developing programs to try to reduce the high intensity of drug distribution in cities across the United States. Unfortunately there is still a high number of narcotics being distributed within the United States. We use a stochastic model to study the trends of drug dealer populations set into motion as a result of fixing a set of incarceration times for drug dealers. We then project these trends and calculate costs associated with jailing drug dealers and the associated active drug dealer distributions. Specific questions that we are address include: Do a fixed set of incarceration times set trends in drug dealer populations? For a fixed set of incarceration times, how much does it cost to jail drug dealers 5 years? For 10 years? What do these costs buy? Are there less drug dealers as a result of these policies?

Article Number:
BM-1508-M

Year:
1998

Authors:
Jaime H. Barrera, Cornell University
Carlos Melgar, University of California- Riverside
Joaquin Rivera-Cruz, University of Iowa

stochastic_study_of_incarceration_times_for_narcotic_distributers_in_a_city_under_three_strikes_law.pdf