Because of the new drug laws and targeted enforcement in minority and poor neighborhoods and communities, every prison across the country became severely overcrowded, mainly with low level non violent drug users.
Not drug dealers, not the drug kingpins, but drug users. 80% of those incarcerated for low level non violent offences are African American and Hispanic.
Because of these policies, they were given very harsh sentences for mere possession of miniscule amounts of illegal drugs. Upon release, with a drug felony on their record, employment is nearly impossible to find.
They are denied public housing nor can they stay with a family member or anyone in public housing. The family could lose their benefits. In many states they cannot obtain a business license or vote. If they are a single parent incarcerated or both parents are incarcerated, their children could end up in foster care.