Drug Abuse Offenders and Criminal Justice System

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The Benefits of Assistance and Treatment for Drug Offenders

The criminal justice system can aim to provide drug offenders with the assistance and treatment they seek. Over the last 20 years, studies have consistently proven the positive effects of assistance and treatment for drug users within the criminal court system. It can use interventions such as therapeutic alternatives to incarceration, jail and prison-based therapy, judicial oversight within drug courts, and reintegration programs to help offenders transition from incarceration to the community. The prospect of lawful punishment and supervision provided by the court system may provide a leverage to encourage drug abusers not only to enter but also to remain in treatment (Stöver, 2014).

The Role of the Criminal Justice System in Providing Treatment

Furthermore, the criminal justice system. It can use interventions such as therapeutic options to incarceration, jail and prison-based treatment combined with the judicial oversight within the drug courts as well as reentry programs that aim to assist the offenders to transit from incarceration into the community. Via supervision, the threat of lawful sanctions and supervision the justice system may offer a leverage to urge drug abusers not only to enter but also remain in the treatment (Stöver, 2014). Furthermore, the criminal justice system can hope to offer services and treatment which drug offenders need through collaborating with the community to offer drug abuse treatment that can reduce both drug use as well as drug linked criminal behavior.

The Importance of Close Supervision for Non-Threatening Drug Offenders

The drug offenders who don’t pose a threat to the safety of the public should not be diverted entirely out of the criminal justice system. They should be released with conditions of close supervision, monitoring and threat of lawful sanctions for a given period of time so that they can transform completely. Thereby, the drug offenders, despite not posing danger to the public, can easily reoffend being in the society due to lack of closer supervision or any form of threat. Statistics have shown that released drug offenders can engage in criminal activities within a period of three years if they are not monitored. A review of the rate of recidivism in not less than 15 states in the United States found that 25 percent of the drug offenders who were entirely released into the community returned to jail within a period of three years for violations (Chandler, Fletcher, & Volkow, 2009).


Chandler, R. K., Fletcher, B. W., & Volkow, N. D. (2009). Treating drug abuse and addiction in the criminal justice system: improving public health and safety. Journal- American Medical Association, 301(2), 183-190.

Stöver, H. (2014). Access to treatment for drug users within the criminal justice system in European countries: : Systematic literature review, existing harm reduction initiatives in prisons, and models of good practice. Frankfurt: BIS-Verlag der Carl von Ossietzky Universität Oldenburg.

April 26, 2023

Law Sociology

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