Graduation Year


Document Type

Campus Only Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts


Politics and International Relations

Reader 1

Thomas Kim

Reader 2

Melissa Rogers

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Rights Information

© 2017 Rachel Neuberg


Though Nixon did not coin the phrase “war on drugs” until the early 1970s, strong anti drug positions were already popular with elected officials and law enforcement. The 1973 creation of the Drug Enforcement Agency was impetus for a significant increase in drug-related incarceration, though a more significant increase of drug-related incarceration occurred in the 1980s alongside the birth of private, for-profit prisons. The end of the 20th century saw the conception of a national sentiment that drugs were the biggest security concern to the American people. The budget allocated to fight the war on drugs increased to the billions, much of which was distributed to police departments to aid them in catching drug users and/or dealers. The United States’ government’s proclamation of a war on drugs and their subsequent policy reforms occurred simultaneously to a significant increase in civil asset forfeiture--likely attributed to the heightened anti-drug sentiment

This thesis is restricted to the Claremont Colleges current faculty, students, and staff.