While the racist and classist so-called "war on drugs" initially incarcerated mostly young black and latino men, the effects of this state oppression extend far beyond the people incarcerated. Friends and family of incarcerated people are greatly affected by incarceration. Loved ones of incarcerated people must endure the emotional pain of missing their loved one and knowing that person is being held prisoner by the state. Children of an incarcerated parent often suffer tremendously, and in the cases of a previously two-parent household, the home is now reduced to a single parent household in which the remaining free parent endures heavy financial burden. The so-called "war on drugs" affects entire communities and families. People of all genders, as well as people who do not subscribe to a gender, are affected by the reality of state oppression.
In recent years, black women represent the fastest growing population of prisoners. This reality has only served to further break apart families and communities as children lose their mothers to state oppression and police violence. This state created war on the poor, and particularly poor communities of color, have reached well beyond US borders as people of Mexico, Central America, and South America suffer immensely from US policies that have strengthened cartels, paramilitary, and government oppression and have fueled an ever growing humanitarian migrant crisis.