February LAE Faculty Forum to examine the war on drugs

Faculty Forum

The University of Wisconsin-Platteville College of Liberal Arts and Education Faculty Forum Series will start the year with a presentation on Thursday, Feb. 2 by Dr. Patrick Solar and Dr. Frank King, Jr., titled “The War on Drugs: Effective Crime Control or Racism in Action.”

“The 1994 crime bill was the latest iteration of ‘get tough on crime’ public policy. It has been put forth as a great example of effective crime control, despite the fact that crime rates were already dropping precipitously in the early 1990s,” said Solar, associate professor of Criminal Justice at UW-Platteville, who will discuss whether he believes the crime bill was effective or an excuse for the federal government to spend billions without regard to the possible impact it would have on poor communities of color, for example mass incarceration.

“I was a police commander during those years and the incentives for police and prosecutors were powerful,” said Solar. “As we consider a new era of ‘get tough on crime’ policies today, it would be worthwhile to consider the likely impact of similar enforcement incentives today.”

King, associate provost for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion at Minnesota State University Moorhead, will be presenting virtually and will discuss the history of how drugs and race intersect, starting from the 19th century to today.

Open to the public, the forum will take place in Room 136, Doudna Hall from 5-6:30 p.m. Refreshments will be provided.

The LAE Faculty Forum Series, a program instituted in the fall of 2004, is sponsored by UW-Platteville's College of Liberal Arts and Education. The purpose of the forum is to allow faculty to present information in their research areas. Presenters tailor their presentations to a general audience.