The Effectiveness of Drug Court in Battling Addiction

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The Effectiveness of Drug Court in Battling Addiction
Julie Tomlin
ADC 210 Indiana Wesleyan University
Addiction has become a huge issue in our country that our government has tried to address. With overcrowding of prisons, something needed to change. Drugs courts were created to ease the court back log, and to try to solve the drug crisis. Non-violent drug offenders are sent to rehab instead of jail. The courts are based on the “addiction as disease” model, and use AA/NA programs as part of the treatment. While there are many benefits to drug courts, there are also drawbacks. Overall, I think that drug court results are promising, and as they are evaluated and improved, I feel that they will continue to help improve the quality of our communities. Simply incarcerating addicts was not solving the problem. Many inmates were repeat offenders. If the addicts could stop using, then maybe the crimes they committed would also decrease. The thinking was based on the fact that most of the crimes committed were due to the drug abuse itself. For example, if a heroin addict needs a fix and is out of money, he may steal to obtain the funds to purchase the needed drugs. Take away the need for the drug, the crime ceases. Additional help would be needed. The addicts would need to learn life skills and would need assistance in obtaining employment. This proposition was not popular at the time. Many people wanted to see these drug users put behind bars. Janet Reno was taking a risk in supporting this unpopular idea (Shavelson, 2001). The way the drug court works is that the offender, instead of being incarcerated, is placed in a treatment center and monitored by the court. There are certain objectives that the addict must achieve and maintain, such as attending AA, meeting with his probation officer, abstaining from alcohol and/or drug use (which is monitored by mandatory drug testing)and complying with the other rules of their particular rehab center. By...
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