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Treatment/Prevention and the Business of Drugs

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Some drug cases are processed in court while others are processed outside the court system. Using the Internet and all other resources at your disposal, write an analysis of the major stages of each process (in court and out of court). What works and what doesn't for each process?

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Please see response attached, which is also presented below. This is a research project, so this response is suggested research findings for you to include in your final analysis. I also attached an excellent supporting article to consider. I hope this helps and take care.

RESPONSE:

Let's look at some of the research that will help you fill in the above outline (see attached response).

1. Some drug cases are processed in court while others are processed outside the court system. Using the Internet and all other resources at your disposal, write an analysis of the major stages of each process (in court and out of court). What works and what don't for each process?

Drug Cases processed in Court

Substance abuse is a long-standing problem in American society. It is closely linked to societal problems from dysfunctional families and child abuse and neglect to unemployment, economic underdevelopment, and crime. The numbers of Americans who abuse alcohol and other drugs are staggering. During any given month during the last 20 years, at least 14 million and sometimes as many as 25 million Americans used some type of illicit drug (Gerstein and Harwood, 1990). Recent conservative estimates indicate that about 17 million Americans suffer from some form of alcoholism or alcohol abuse National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, 1993). http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/bv.fcgi?rid=hstat5.section.44347

Children are subject to a separate judicial system called the juvenile court system. Generally, the focus of the juvenile court system is more on rehabilitation than on punishment (some reported successes). In some cases, however, older juveniles who commit more serious crimes will be charged as adults and tried in the regular criminal courts. In such cases, their sentence, too, will be more in accord with adult punishment, whereas in juvenile court any incarceration is usually in a more rehabilitative setting and generally ends when the juvenile attains the age of majority. http://www.chicagocriminallaw.com/CM/FSDP/PracticeCenter/Criminal-Law/Drug-Charges.asp?focus=faq

Indeed, drug-related cases have long been part of the caseloads of the Nation's courts and other criminal justice agencies. And, indeed, drug cases have recently have inundated the courts. In the late 1980s, as law enforcement agencies implemented or expanded strategies that emphasized the arrest and prosecution of users and street-level dealers (e.g. potential benefit to society and perhaps victims of crimes), drug-related felony cases piled up in the courts (e.g. downside for the courts). The increased volume of cases, coupled with the enactment of laws by the Federal Government and many States that require mandatory terms of imprisonment for drug-related offenses, produced a sense of crisis in many American courts. For example, according to the report of a 1989 conference attended by court system leaders from the Nation's nine most populous States, "the general sense was that most trial courts are being overwhelmed by drug cases." Conferees warned of "either an imminent or existing caseload crisis and possible breakdown of the system if solutions are not found soon" (Lipscher, 1989). The well-documented increase in jail and prison populations around the Nation is directly attributable to the upsurge in the prosecution of drug charges and related crimes fueled by drug abuse. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/bv.fcgi?rid=hstat5.section.44347

For evaluation of the substance abuse and the crime prevention act (2003) see http://www.csdp.org/research/prop36_rpt2.pdf

Although court processes are necessary for the more serious and violent drug-related crimes (e.g., trafficking or murder while under the influence), due to the failure of ...

Solution Summary

Based on the fact that some drug cases are processed in court while others are processed outside the court system, this solution explains the major stages of each process (in court and out of court), including the effectiveness of each process. Supplemented with two exceptionally informative articles on drug courts and treatment as alternatives to incarceration.

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