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Treatment in Criminal Justice Settings; Mandatory vs Voluntary Treatment and Rehabilitation

Abstract

The public health and community safety challenges associated with the use of illicit drugs have intensified in recent years, with the number of people using illicit drugs increasing globally and rates of fatal drug-related overdose rising considerably, particularly in North America and parts of Western Europe. Yet prevention efforts and treatment provision typically fail to meet levels of need and demand in many parts of the world. At the same time, ‘drug-related’ offending continues to be a significant driver of global prison populations and its associated costs. While a growing number of countries have implemented alternative policy innovations for dealing with drug-using suspects, defendants and convicted offenders using forms of depenalisation, diversion or decriminalisation, most continue to incarcerate and criminalise people for the possession or use of illicit drugs and rely on punitive sanctions, such as imprisonment, as the default response to ‘drug-related’ crime. This chapter draws upon international evidence for the effectiveness of ‘coerced’ and mandated forms of treatment (which are ordered, motivated or supervised by the CJS) as a response to ‘drug-related’ offending. It also highlights what this evidence base tells us about how different contexts and mechanisms for implementation and delivery can hinder or enhance the effectiveness of these approaches.

Keywords

  • ‘Coerced’ treatment
  • Diversion
  • ‘Drug-related’ crime
  • ‘EMMIE’ framework

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Fig. 100.1
Fig. 100.2

Notes

  1. 1.

    The interventions considered as part of the review included (1) naltrexone in comparison with routine parole, social psychological treatment or both; (2) methadone maintenance in comparison with different counselling options; and (3) naltrexone, diamorphine and buprenorphine in comparison with a non-pharmacological alternative and in combination with another pharmacological treatment.

  2. 2.

    Guidelines are usually systematically developed statements to assist and inform stakeholders in their decision-making about appropriate interventions for specific situations and circumstances. Typically, guidelines include a set of recommendations or steps that can be followed when implementing an intervention. Guidelines are commonly based on the available research evidence [18].

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McSweeney, T. (2021). Treatment in Criminal Justice Settings; Mandatory vs Voluntary Treatment and Rehabilitation. In: el-Guebaly, N., Carrà, G., Galanter, M., Baldacchino, A.M. (eds) Textbook of Addiction Treatment. Springer, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-36391-8_100

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