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Drug Courts Are Not the Answer: Toward a Health-Centered Approach to Drug Use

Drug Courts Are Not the Answer: Toward a Health-Centered Approach to Drug Use

  1. Terrapinzflyer
    a paper from the US based Drug Policy Alliance : March 2011

    Table of Contents
    2 Executive Summary 3 Introduction
    5 Drug Courts and the Drug War
    7 Stopgap Approaches to Systemic Problems 8 Sidebar: Disparate Impacts on People of Color
    9 Understanding Drug Courts: What the Research Shows
    9 Finding: Drug Court Research Is Often Unreliable 10 Finding: Drug Court Outcomes Are Not Markedly Better Than Probation 11 Finding: Incarceration Sanctions Do Not Improve Outcomes 12 Finding: Drug Courts Limit Access to Proven Treatments 13 Finding: Drug Courts May Not Improve Public Safety 14 Finding: Drug Courts May Not Reduce Incarceration 14 Sidebar: Drug Courts As Adjunct – Not Alternative – to Incarceration 15 Finding: Drug Courts May Not Cut Costs
    16 Mixing Treatment and Punishment: A Faulty Approach
    16 Fundamental Paradox of Drug Courts 16 Abstinence-Only and the Predominance of Punishment Over Treatment 17 Sidebar: Proposition 36: Better But Not Health-Centered
    18 Toward a Health-Centered Approach to Drug Use
    18 Recommendation: Reserve Drug Courts for Serious Offenses and Improve Practices
    19 Recommendation: Work Toward Removing Criminal Penalties for Drug Use
    21 Sidebar: Portugal’s Post-Criminalization Policy Success 22 Recommendation: Invest in Public Health, Including Harm
    Reduction and Treatment
    24 Conclusion 25 Works Cited