This paper first identifies some of the most important problems facing incarcerated young black males. Next, we present an historical analysis that pinpoints the War on Drugs as the primary origin of mass incarceration of that group. Then we describe the major consequences for prisoners as well as collateral problems for their families, friends, and communities. We then outline the types of programs created to address these problems. We summarize research that shows the key to solving high recidivism rates is social support during incarceration and after release. We describe in particular a Boston-based organization, the Committee of Friends and Relatives of Prisoners (CFROP), that identifies the incarceration-related problems, advocates for policy solutions, and provides material assistance to prisoners and their friends and families.


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