Ken White | LEAP | Law Enforcement Against Prohibition

About Ken White

Retired Lieutenant, Federal Bureau of Prisons
Hughson, CA

"Number one reason, it’s a colossal waste of tax dollars; the war on drugs is a huge failure."

California native Ken White knows prisons. During his twenty year career working for the Federal Bureau of Prisons he “dealt with or was involved in just about every type of incident you can imagine happening in a prison,” including the murder of an officer he was training, high-profile inmates involved in organized crime, alleged international terrorists awaiting trial, oversight of a transfer center which moved over nine hundred inmates daily, and direct contact with many low-level drug dealers. In 1991, after twelve years in the Army, he applied for a job with the Bureau of Prisons. He was hired as a Correctional Officer at the Federal Correctional Institution for Women in Dublin, California. After seven years at Dublin, White was promoted to Lieutenant and transferred to the Metropolitan Correctional Center in New York City. He also served as Lieutenant at the Federal Transfer Center in Oklahoma City, the home of “Con-Air,” before his final transfer to the United States Penitentiary in Atwater, California.

White saw a lot of people in prison for drug-related crimes, many of which he says did not belong there; “some of the tactics used to put them there left something to be desired.” Due to overcrowding from drug arrests White believes attempts at rehabilitating the “people who really need to be there” are stymied. He came to realize drug prohibition is a colossal waste of tax dollars and a huge failure.

Although he swam from Alcatraz to San Francisco twice and is working on doing it again, he was not escaping but training for Ironman Triathlons. With four under his belt, he looks forward to competing again in Canada soon. When not running, swimming, biking, being a husband and dad, he enjoys riding motorcycles, and is a chapter president of the Blue Knights International Law Enforcement Motorcycle Club. While those present great opportunities to get the word out about the need to re-legalize drugs, this Ironman has specifically chosen to join LEAP to make it happen sooner. In the Army he was assigned to Berlin, Germany before the end of the Cold War; now White’s assignment is to bring an end to the Drug War.