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Break the Chains is a non-profit organization founded in 2004 as a project of the Tides Center. The mission of Break the Chains is to address the impact of the "war on drugs" on communities of color, particularly African-American and Latino communities. BTC's guiding principles are grounded in our belief that the communities disproportionately affected by punitive drug policies must be an integral part of the movement to reform them. We have been a consistent voice for the need to have a holistic approach to drug policy reform that connects it to broader social and political movements for civil rights, racial justice, economic empowerment and educational opportunity. A major part of our work is highlighting the connections between the criminal justice system and other issues of concern in ways that are accessible to the average person. We seek to encourage global thinking that breaks down silos and facilitates collaboration in both word and deed.
The long-term change we seek to achieve includes:
reducing the amount of substance abuse and addiction plaguing poor communities, especially black and Latino communities;
reducing use of the criminal justice system as the principal response to drug-related problems;
increasing access to community-based treatment for all who need and want it;
embracing a range of harm reduction approaches to drug addiction and drug policies;
replacing drug prohibition with an effective system of regulation and control of currently illicit substances.