Level of Services Inventory- Revised (LSI-R) assessment

Introduction

This chapter outlines the previous studies and researches that have been focused on the Level of Services Inventory- Revised (LSI-R) assessment tool that is used by probation officers in determining the risk of offenders in offending and their treatment needs.  A number of studies have been conducted in the probation and criminology in general hence the researcher outlines the relevant information. Globally, drug consumption has resulted in several individuals arrested and arranged in courts. As a result of this, governments and non governmental organizations are in the front line to ensure that citizens are educated on the dangerous of taking drugs. The aim of this study is to determine whether there is a positive relationship between the LSI-R measure and the results of the probationer completing a drug court program either successfully or unsuccessfully. Slot of money is used by the criminal justice, prisons, and jails on drug addicted offenders while drug courts are trying as much as possible to provide rehabilitation so as to help in reducing recidivism rates among the drug addicted offenders. Information concerning an individual’s personality and style that best benefits from drug treatment court programs is very little. It is therefore becoming hard for drug treatment court staff to educate the public on the benefits they can get from their programs. Lack of this information has resulted in some people failing to successfully complete the program and thus the tax payers incur huge amounts of money. Potential non successful participants could be eliminated from entering the program and costing the program money if there was a better understanding of what type of participant would be most likely to successfully complete the program. The rationale of conducting the LSI-R is to screen the potential drug addicted offenders in order to evaluate whether they are most appropriate for drug court programs. The most important aspect here is to ensure that huge sums of the tax payers’ money are not used without producing positive outcomes. This would also help in solving the challenges facing drug treatment courts as stated by their opponents that not all drug offenders are supposed to be initiated to these courts. The main purpose of the study is therefore to investigate the extent to which the initial LSI-R score have influence on drug treatment court participants’ success in the program. The study also aims at investigating whether there is relationship between LSI-R score and the drug treatment court participants’ success in the program. This will inform the drug court managers and other staff members to ensure that money is used effectively and positive outcomes are produced to the court participants.

2.1.2 Literature Search Strategy

In addressing these problems, this study gets information from previous scholars, educators, and researchers regarding the effectiveness of drug treatment courts, the link between drug addiction and crimes, and the effectiveness of using LSI-R tool in determining the drug offenders who are supposed to undergo the court programs. In this case information is gotten from a wide range of sources like databases, journals (criminology journals, legal journals, and health journals), peer reviewed books, online articles with relevant information regarding the topic of the study, government articles containing accurate information on prisons and jail populations in the United States and the number of drug treatment courts in the country, and other articles containing relevant information regarding the topic of the study. In getting this information, some of the criminology databases used include; SCOPUS, Sage research methods online, Criminology POWERSEARCH, and National Criminal Justice Reference Service (NCJRS) Abstracts Database. Health databases like CINHAL, MEDLINE, and CHOCRAINE among others. Key search terms like drug treatment courts, LSI-R score, drug addiction, drug offenders’ rehabilitation, and correctional measures were used in searching for relevant information. This information was searched from search engines like Google, Yahoo, and Bing in order to have a wide range of the required data.

In order to ensure that the information gathered is up-to-date, very old information was avoided. Notably, the current world is changing at a very high rate and these changes are attributed to all aspects of life. This implies that some the laws and legal processes that were used in 1970s may have been amended or changed fully so when 1970s information is used, it would not be reliable in the study. As a result of this, most of the sources used were published not later than the year 2000 in order to incorporate all the changes that would have occurred for the last twelve years. For instance, the aspect of drug courts was introduced in the year 1982 mostly in the health sector but later changes and incorporated legal framework. This shows that if 1980s information is used to explain drug courts, it would miss the most important point of legal aspect which is key in this study. Additionally, the range of publication years for the information provided helps in incorporating all significant changes that may have occurred over time. For instance, sources published in the year 2002 provide information regarding the topic of the study before that year, therefore sources published after 2002 will provide information regarding the changes that have occurred from that year.

In order to increase the reliability and validity of the study, the researcher focused on only the information that contributed to the topic of the study. Preciseness and accuracy is very important in any piece of work hence gathering information from relevant sources contribute to accuracy. In this respect, only information contributing to drug treatment courts and their effectiveness in reducing drug offenders’ rate of recidivism and improvement of community safety, the effectiveness of LSI-R score in determining the type of drug offenders who should participate in the drug treatment court programs, the relationship between the LSI-R score and the drug court participants’ success in the program, and significant positive correlation between the LSI-R score and drug court participants’ success; was considered in the study. This ensured that irrelevant information that does not contribute to the topic of the study was omitted. It should be noted that when relevant information is gathered, the research becomes authentic and the reader is able to follow what were the findings of the previous researchers and how their findings relate to the current study. Additionally, most information was gathered from peer reviewed journals and articles as they contained information that had thoroughly been reviewed by scholars. These sources also had different views of scholars with regard to the topic of the study hence it was easy for the researcher to draw a well informed conclusion. Books were also used in the study especially those that has secondary research as their methodology.

This section is divided into four major parts, introduction, literature review related to key variables and concepts, theoretical foundations, and summary and conclusions. The introduction part gives introductory statements about the topic of the study by outlining how the search will be conducted and the sources and information used in the study. The literature review related to key variables and concepts outlines the major ideas as indicated by previous researchers and scholars regarding the topic of the study. Theoretical framework section introduced the theory of therapeutic jurisprudence and how it relates with the case of drug treatment courts. The conceptual framework section gives the main variables and indicates how they are related to the research question. The last section gives a summary of the key findings and gives conclusions derived from the study.   

In the United States, a number of policies and programs have been developed by the government aimed at reducing drug consumption among the youths. For instance, Anti-Drug Abuse Act of 1986, which was signed by President Reagan and allowed $1.7 billion to be used in the drug war (Timeline, 2007). Minimum sentencing guidelines for drug crimes were also brought about with this bill (Timeline, 2007). According to Burke (2010), the numbers for drug related crime arrests increased from 322,000 in 1970 to more than 1.3 million in 1998. Burke (2010) added that the United States has the highest incarceration rate in the world, and the high recidivism rates are partly to blame. Citizens (2008) stated that the amount of prison commitments that were from drug related crimes increased 482 percent from 1985-1989, which is only four years, which again was a result from the “war on drugs”. Dunne (1999) agreed by saying that a quarter of the prisoners are serving time for nonviolent drug offenses and within the last two decades there was about a 400% increase, even though drug usage and trafficking was primarily constant. According to Press (2001), the United Nations Office for Drug Control and Crime Prevention completed a report sharing that drug use in the United States from 1985-1999 fell 40%, mostly because the government was spending so much money on the “war on drugs”. Despite the government spending $855 million in 1985 to $5.6 billion in 1999 to prevent drug usage, and drug usage reduced, there were still more people going to prisons in the United States because of drug related crimes.

2.2 Literature Review Related to Key Variables and Concepts

2.2.1 Link between Drug Use and Criminal Behaviors

According to Aharonovich et al. (2006), significant attention has been paid to methamaphetamine use but this has not reduced the use of other illicit drugs and this has become a social concern. In the year 2007, there were approximately 20 million drug users in the United States according to the report by Bennett et al. (2008). This indicates that, despite the much efforts put by the government and non-governmental organization in reducing the rate of illicit drug taking in a country, the rate is still high. In most cases, marijuana is the most used illicit drug whereby it is used by more than 14.4 million followed by psychotherapeutics which is used by about 6.9 million and cocaine which is used by about 2.1 million. Additionally, the report by Bennett et al. (2008) showed that there was significantly heavy drinking among the American youths whereby about 19 million Americans were addicted to alcohol, 3.9 were addicted to marijuana, and only 1.6 million were addicted to cocaine. This report indicates that in the United States, the rate of taking illicit drugs is still high despite the efforts by the federal government to reduce it.  

In their study, Andrews and Bonta (2006) asserted that, people using drugs are about 3 to 4 times more likely to commit crimes or criminal behaviors than non users. The authors continue to indicate that more than a half of all the inmates whether local, federal or state in the United States have used drugs at the time of their current criminal behavioral. From this information it can be argued that people using drugs are more likely to engage in criminal behaviors than non users simply because they act under the influence of the consumed drugs (Bagley et al., 2001). For instance, most of the criminals charged with rape or murder confess that they had used drugs before or during the crime time. This shows that there is a positive correlation between drug usage and criminal behaviors. Additionally, a sizable number of criminal behavior offenders are reported to have used alcohol during or before committing the crime. This implies that they act under the influence of alcohol because there are some offenses which no human being would be thought of committing like the case of raping small kids or grannies.

Historically, punitive responses from the criminal justice system in the United States have resulted from concerns over drug and substance use and crime. Some researchers indicate that the recidivism rate among offenders can be reduced by incarcerating drug offenders (Butzin et al., 2002). However, more recent studies have suggested that there is very limited impact of drug offenders’ incarceration on recidivism. These studies indicate that those people who go back to their criminal behaviors after they are released are not propelled to do so by the fact that they do not fear being punished but because of other reasons (California Department of Alcohol and Drug Programs, 2006). Despite that incarceration is one of the ways of ensuring that offenders do not repeat their offenses in future, it has not been effective since some criminals do not fear to be punished as they are influenced to commit crimes by illicit drugs and substances. It is therefore to ensure that offenders are helped in undergoing drug court programs where they are rehabilitated and treated against drug addiction. Bouffard and Richardson (2007) in their study noted that offenders who have successfully undergone drug court programs successfully are at lower rate of going back to their offenses once they are released. As a result of this, the criminal justice system has proposed the shift of policy development’s focus from incarceration as the major response of criminals to drug abuse as one of the treatments. This has resulted in several states in the United States repealing or amending their mandatory minimum sentences for drug criminals (Castro et al., 2000). This is to make sure that they are treated from drug addiction rather than basing the responses on punishment alone. For instance, an individual who rapes a kid because of the influence of drugs he takes should be treated from the drug addiction even if he will be punished for the crime. This would help in reducing the recidivism rates among inmates (Cosden et al., 2006). About 18 states in the country have or are in the process of seeking a decrease of the length of sentence for drug offenders in order to get time to rehabilitate them. For instance, Arizona has declared that nonviolent criminals charged with drug are currently required by the law to undergo probation or in a drug treatment program that is closely supervised by the court. California similarly requires all drug offenders to undergo one year community based drug treatment and six month aftercare in order to ensure that they are fully and successfully treated from drug and substance abuse (Cunha et al., 2004). This has been done in these two states because of they have acknowledged the fact that nonviolent offender convicted of a drug charge have the possibility of getting healed from the drug addiction and continue living with peace and harmony with other society members. This is a clear indication that the criminal justice system has realized that there is a clear correlation between drug abuse and criminal behaviors especially among the youths and drug abuse treatment is the best remedy (Dannerbeck et al., 2006).

However, it can be expected that the number of drug criminals who are not arrested but living in the community may increase due to these shifts in policy as they are not officially treated but left at the will of the community. In avoiding this, it is important to equip communities to treat and supervise them. Community members are in a better position to identify and understand drug offenders hence if equipped with the right materials and skills to treat them, they will be very effective (Goldkamp et al., 2001).  

The fact that there are several different drugs brought illegally into the United States has contributed heavily to many people in the country abusing it. For instance, in the year 2000 President Clinton contributed in developing a plan that provided Columbia about $1.3 billion to be used towards the counternarcotics program. Columbia is one of the biggest providers of cocaine which is sneaked illegally into the United States. According to Cosden et al. (2006), in 2005 Columbia provided 80% of the world’s cocaine, and 70% of the cocaine brought into the United States. The coca leaves are mostly grown on large plantations and controlled by large drug cartels (Cosden et al., 2006). The money given to Plan Columbia was intended for logistic and intelligence support, building, training, and equipping two new battalions, and purchasing helicopters to transport the battalions (Dynia & Sung, 2000). It was thought that if the drug problem in Columbia would be solved it would help in preventing drug smugglers from exporting it illegally to the United States.  

According to Gottfredson et al. (2003), there is a complex relationship between drug abuse and criminal behaviors. However, adequate evidence indicates that in most cases, drug users are responsible for a large percentage of crimes committed in the society like burglary and shop lifting. Over the past decade, a significant improvement in drug treatment for criminals in the community has been registered especially in terms of quality and availability. Basing this information from a study conducted by Greene (2003) on ‘smart on crime’, prisons are considerably catching up, as the new treatment regime is introduced. In this case, prisons are considered as the most appropriate places to engage drug users in effective treatment in order to prevent them from committing crimes (Langan & Levin, 2002). Basically, when drug offenders are treated from drug addiction, they resume to their normal lives whereby they are able to differentiate what is right and wrong, evil and righteous, legal and illegal, and ethical and unethical. It has become a concern to the criminal and justice system to ensure that drug offenders are not heavily punished for their crimes but they are treated from addictions hence enabled to behave well in the community (Listwan et al., 2008). The major aim of this treatment is to break the link between the offenders drug use and criminal behaviors so that the rates of recidivism are reduce and the offenders have the opportunity to recover and reintegrate with the society once they are released. A study by Hopwood et al. (2008) found that approximately 330,000 individuals in England are drug users where they mostly depend on crack cocaine or/and heroin. Many of these drug abusers pay for their drugs through crimes like shoplifting and burglary. The study estimated that the crime these offenders commit cost the society about £13.9 billion every year. In this case, drug treatment can be used to assist these individuals to control and eventually overcome their addiction hence breaking the link between drug use and crime (Listwan et al., 2009). Karberg and James (2005) state that, drug users start by committing crimes before they become addicts but this extends to uncontrollable heights when they start being addicted. For instance, an individual may opt to break into a house in order to get some money to purchase cocaine or heroine.

Drug abuse makes many offenders to describe their lives as a constant search for illegal opportunities. In this case, they encouraged or motivated by the influence of drugs to shop lift, steal from cars, and break into people’s properties. Once they get money they use it to purchase drugs then they are back on the streets looking for more illegal opportunities to pay for more drugs (Listwan et al., 2001). Drug dependency makes part time offenders full time offenders hence there is great need for their treatment. As Kelly and Welsh (2008) note, the ill activities of these offenders have a significant effect on local crime figures since as many drug offenders engage in small scale crimes like shop lifting, the whole society is under criticism for increased crime (Listwan et al., 2003). These offenders commit crimes but are later released as the magnitude of the crimes allows their release. In this case therefore, if effective treatment is not recommended to the offenders, high rates of recidivism would be reported. However, some drug misusing criminals commit offenses that are so serous that they are kept in prisons for quite a long period of time (Longshore et al., 2006). In most cases, these offenders kept in prisons for long are mainly treated from drug addictions but the former are not. It is a challenge for the criminal and justice systems to ensure that even the small scale offenders are treated from drug addiction in order to reduce the recidivism rates and help them live in peace with other society members (Longshore et al., 2001).  

Marlowe et al. (2006) described three models explaining the link between drug use and criminal behaviors. The psychopharmacological model indicates that some people, either the offender or the victim may become irrational, excitable and prone to violent conducts as a result of injection of specific drugs or alcohol for a short or long time. In this case, the psychological and physical effects of specific drugs and substances are emphasized by this model and how this affects the brain which has been scientifically recorded. Lowenkamp et al. (2001) assert that some drugs or substances have a criminogenic effect that provokes criminal behaviors in drug users. Alcohol consumption is mostly associated with violent behaviors hence the violent behaviors of alcohol consumers can be explained both physically and psychologically. A study by Marlowe et al. (2006) on inmates indicated that among the inmates who were charged with violent activities like sexual assault, murder, and assault; there were more instances of alcohol consumption as compared to other drugs. This shows that individuals can be propelled to conduct criminal behaviors if they are drug users or alcohol consumers. Conversely, there are some drugs which have a reverse psychopharmacological effect like marijuana and they restructure violent behaviors (Miethe et al., 2000). This makes the link between drug usage and crime complex since some drugs contribute to violent behaviors while others try to ameliorate them. The proponents of strict drug and alcohol laws support their position by citing the effects of particular drugs on the brain causing users to engage in violent activities (Miller & Shutt, 2001). According to their arguments, drugs and alcohol undermine self control and judgment hence generating unreasonable ideas that distort perceptions and inhibitions. Some drug offenders therefore are influenced by drug addictions to commit crimes hence if they are treated from these addictions, they repetitive criminal behaviors would be solved. Mumola and Karberg (2006) indicate that ensuing criminal behaviors are caused by the physiological loss of control among drug users.

The economically compulsive model on the other hand suggest that some drug abusers engage in economically oriented criminal behaviors like robbery and shop lifting in order to purchase more drugs. Drugs are very costly especially bearing in mind that they are used on daily basis by users. It therefore becomes economically hard for some addicts to purchase them hence they are forced to look for other means of getting money. The activity of drug consumption needs to be supported regularly hence users end up in engaging themselves in criminal activities. However, this model does not apply to alcohol consumption to an extent since it is legal and its cost and availability are regulated. The usage of expensive drugs like heroine and cocaine is therefore more related to the economically compulsive model. For instance, as revealed by Peters and Murrin (2000), crimes committed in support of drug addiction are mainly for acquisition of expensive drugs. However, Rempel et al. (2003) did not find any relationship between drugs and crime but suggested that there are several factors or motivations that are related to drug abuse that result in a criminal event like robbery or theft.

The systemic violence market is where an individual gets involved with any illegal drug through its distribution and supply. This implies that when an individual is directly involved with the drug market, there is high possibility of taking drugs and any efforts of preventing him or her may result in committing a crime. This model asserts that violence or aggression may erupt from dealers to users to bystanders. In this case, despite that the drug user may not be directly involved in a crime, the act of drug dealing he or she is involved in may result in criminal behaviors (Roll et al., 2005).

2.2.2 Drug Court Program

Recently, there has been a war between the criminal justice system and the drug policy officials whereby the latter are criticized because of the increased drug traffickers and users in the United States (Shaffer, 2006). In this country, approximately more than a half of all the inmates in the local, state and federal prisons are illicit drug users and each year additional legislations are brought up that mandate long sentences as well as other forms of severe penalties for the violators of these drug laws. The ratio of the benefits and costs of drug treatment through the criminal justice system have been cited as an important factor by public opinions and the politically prudent (Shaffer et al., 2009). However, the profound changes in the process of treatment of drug criminals within the criminal justice system have brought about increased controversy. Drug court is the principal instrument used in this transformation. Drug courts are considered as attempts by the criminal justice systems to reduce the costs of the punishments imposed on nonviolent drug criminals while at the same time offering treatment to the criminal in hope of reducing the tendency of him returning back to the crime (Saum et al., 2001). This method is very effective and advantageous as it helps in saving the government money. Recidivism rates among the inmates have been reduced drastically through drug court programs in many areas. As Roman et al. (2002) state, nonviolent offenders are those criminals who commit crimes that do not involve any threat, attack or harm to the victim but involve public orders, drug, and property offenses. Judge Herbert Klein, the Dade County Attorney Janet Reno and other officials established the first drug treatment court in Miami-Dade County in Florida, United States in the year 1989 (Semple et al., 2008). Currently, there are more than 2000 drug treatment courts in operation in the United States as they have been considered as being very significant in reducing recidivism rates and saving the government’s money.

A very brief history of drug treatment courts is provided in the previous literature. According to Shaffer et al. (2008), probation method was mainly used by the criminal justice system for nonviolent offenders but it was later realized that these offenders released had high recidivism rates hence there was a need to look for a way to solve the problem completely. It was realized that when more and more offenders were being put on probation, the problem was perpetuated rather than being solved (Simourd, 2004). The government used a lot of money in supervising these offenders and since some of them could conceal their criminal behaviors or drug abusing behaviors for the time they are being supervised, it was found that the best way was to treat them completely in order to help them reintegrate in the society (Stoops et al., 2005). Jurisdictions across the United States have begun to approve of the concept of drug treatment court since its creation in Miami. By the year 1996, approximately 125 courts were in operation in more than 45 states and more than 100 jurisdictions were developed. According to a more recent survey in the year 2001, more than 200 drug treatment courts are operating across the country and about eleven states have enacted laws that relate to the funding and planning of drug courts as a way of ensuring that more and more nonviolent drug users are treated (Taxman & Bouffard, 2003).

There are several factors that can be attributed to the fervent reception of the concept of drug treatment courts in the United States. These factors include decreased recidivism rates among the drug treatment court participants, more effective case load management, reduced crowding in jails, and reduced systemic costs (Tyner & Fremouw, 2008). The drug treatment have started to demonstrate their effectiveness hence conferences were held which involved more and more professionals which allowed many people in the criminal justice system to gain access to important information on these courts. This has helped the proponents of these courts to generate more and more support from the state and federal governments hence several nonviolent drug offenders are being treated in the country (U.S. General Accountability Office, 2005). From their establishment, the statistics of drug treatment courts have indicated positive outcomes both to the side of offenders and the government.

Drug treatment courts are therefore used in the country to break the cycle of drugs and crime. In 1980s, the United States experienced a flood of drug criminals as well as drug related crimes. In an attempt to solve this problem, the courts began expediting and consolidating drug criminal cases within their standard criminal justice system (Wagner & Anthony, 2007). As a way of speeding up the judicial process, some jurisdictions in the United States have taken a different strategy whereby rather than working on the symptoms of the influx in drug criminals (crowding in the local courts), they have sought for some techniques or ways of curing the fundamental problems of drug crimes (drug use and addiction) (Weisheit & Fuller, 2004). This has resulted in the establishment of drug treatment courts which have been heavily supported by the government because of their results. It should be noted that the most important and patent solution to drug offenders is not to jail them or penalize them severely in order to send a message to the others, but to find ways of treating them from drug addictions (Wilson et al., 2006). Studies have indicated that most of the drug offenders commit crimes under the influence of drugs hence when they are treated from addictions they may be liberated from committing crimes under the influence of these drugs. Additionally, treatment helps the drug users in devising new ways of earning a living rather than relying on criminal behaviors like shop lifting, robbery and theft for their living (Wolfe et al., 2002).

Despite that recent statistics have shown a decline in certain areas of drug related criminal behaviors; no considerable decline has been noted in the abuse of heroine and cocaine. This indicates that there are still many people in the country who are users or addicted to these two drugs. With this in mind, it posses a big threat to the government since these are expensive drugs and as indicated by the economically compulsive model, most of the drug offenders commit crimes like robbery in order to support their financial needs. According to Yeh and Doyle (2005), a study conducted by the Rand Corporation found that approximately two-thirds of the cocaine demanded in the United States is used by chronic drug users. The study also indicated that two-thirds of the cocaine available in the country is consumed by only 20 per cent of the chronic drug users in the country. This shows that there is a great need for drug treatment courts since if all the chronic drug users are offenders, they could crowd in the local and federal prisons hence costing the government a lot of money. However, with drug treatment courts these people are treated and helped to live a better life with other society members.

Studies on the use of drugs indicate that some criminals abuse drugs for psychiatric disorder self medication. According a study by Aharonovich et al. (2006), mentally ill individuals are 2.7 times more likely to abuse drugs and engage in drug related criminal behaviors as compared to the other general populace free from mental illness. This implies that some drug offenders may have committed crimes not because they want to but because of their psychiatric disorders thus, drug treatment is recommend. For instance, 25-30 per cent of participants in drug treatment courts in Portland have mental health problems. This same occurrence appears to take place in case of alcoholism propelling individuals to engage in criminal behaviors (Andrews & Bonta, 2006). Given the prevalence of this occurrence, traditional drug treatment courts are ill equipped to effectively provide drug offenders with the appropriate treatments hence increasing the safety of the community in general. However, drug treatment courts are currently equipped with the appropriate apparatus and services making them effective in reducing recidivism rates and increasing community safety (Bagley et al., 2001).

Nevertheless, a more difficult problem is presented by polydrug users to the criminal justice system. This is because a polydrug user uses only one drug like cocaine to change the negative effects of another drug like heroin or methamphetamine (Bouffard & Richardson, 2007). For instance, since cocaine may cause the user to suffer from sleeplessness, the user may take heroin to either alleviate this effect or produce a less dramatic post- cocaine crash. This is problematic since the criminal justice system may not know which drug to treat the user from. The system may treat the user from cocaine but fail to address the effects of heroine hence solving the problem half way (Butzin et al., 2002). From this it can be deduced that, the abuse of illegal drugs may result in the creation of psychological and physical need to use another drug. This behavioral pattern, according to Bennett et al. (2008), has very little to do with criminality. Some drug abusing behaviors may be criminalized by the criminal justice system but in the real sense they have nothing to do with criminality hence there may be complexity in the process of dealing with drug offenders. However, the most important aspect that should be noted by all participants in the criminal justice system is that their main goal is to treat drug offenders hence disconnecting them from criminal behaviors. When this is done, the link between drug usage and crime is broken (California Department of Alcohol and Drug Programs, 2006).

The traditional methods of jurisprudence are particularly ill-equipped to deal effectively with single drug addiction derived from polydrug abuse or an attempt to self- medicate. Traditional punitive approaches have been criticized by many practitioners within the current criminal justice system to have made few inroads into the problem of drug involved offensive case load (Cosden et al., 2006). Castro et al. (2000) state that, if addiction is a biopsychosocial problem which increases in the face of penalty, it then means that no amount of jail term, fines, probation or other types of traditional criminal justice sanctions will be effective in preventing the addict from repeating the criminal behavior related to drug abuse. When this aspect is approached not from the traditional criminal justice perspective but from a biopsychosocial and therapeutic point of view, several of the previously mentioned statistics about drug abuse begin making sense (Cunha et al., 2004). Since actions like incarceration, probation, or loosely supervised parole do not squarely address the addiction of drug abusers, they usually do not respond to them. The is a high probability of the drug offender to violate probation if he is put on probation by the criminal justice system without drug treatment since the system has not effectively addressed his or her medical condition (Dannerbeck et al., 2006). It is therefore important to look at the aspect of drug addiction and drug offenders from the perspective of therapeutic and biopsychosocial in order to ensure that the drug offender’s problems are adequately and effectively addressed (Dynia & Sung, 2000).

Goldkamp et al. (2001) assert that many characteristics of the traditional court system typically contribute to drug use rather than curbing it. Basically, the criminal’s denial of drug addiction was reinforced by the traditional defense counsel functions as well as court procedures hence nullifying the fact that an offender can commit a crime as a result of taking drugs (Karberg & James, 2005). Additionally, the criminal justice system is in most cases an unsuspecting enabler of continued drug abuse because it imposes few immediate consequences for continued drug abuse. This implies that only legal measures are used in curbing drug related crimes rather than using psychological measures (Kelly & Welsh, 2008). As a result of this, the problem of drug use and drug related crimes are ineffectively solved. Gottfredson et al. (2003) suggest that since there are a substantial numbers of arrestees involved with drug related criminal activities, claiming victory when the drug use for a particular group of arrestees drops by a very low percentage is tempting. This shows that the measures used are ineffective and hence have failed to arrest the problem. However, with drug treatment courts operating across the country, the rate of drug use and drug related criminal activities have reduced substantially (Langan & Levin, 2002). This is because not only legal measures are used in curbing the problem but also psychosocial measures hence enabling the offenders to be reintegrated effectively in the community. The small successes reported in the traditional criminal justice system in as far as curbing drug abuse and drug related crimes is concerned, the truth remains that drug abuse characterizes a significant number of people entering the criminal justice system (Listwan et al., 2008). The failure to acknowledge this truth, as revealed by Hopwood et al. (2008), aggravates the link between drug abuse and crime and places an increasingly high price from the community. It is therefore for the criminal justice system to note that treating drug offenders and ensuring that they do not recidivate to their criminal activities is the best option.   

Drug courts, according to Wolf et al. (2003), have become very popular in the treatment of nonviolent drug criminals especially in communities since the offenders are not only trained to abide by the law but are also treated from mental and psychological problems that may cause them get involved to crimes. Collaborative effort from a team of experts and professionals including treatment staff, drug court judge, and probation staff; characterize drug court as a unique system. These professionals work in harmony and collaboratively to create an environment that enhances public participation, safety, and compliance. This information by Wolf et al. (2003) has been supported by other researchers in the field like Wilson et al. (2006) who asserted that the most effective method of treating drug offenders is through drug courts since their behaviors are clearly monitored by the court and they enabled to reintegrate in the community. Most importantly, drug courts have proved to be the best way in the United States since drug offenders are helped to reduce addiction hence minimizing drug related crimes (Taxman & Bouffard, 2003). Basically, rehabilitation in this process is very essential hence the drug court judge plays a critical role in ensuring that drug offenders’ behaviors are changed through rehabilitation. The judge is also in charge of monitoring the progress of the offenders in order to evaluate the effectiveness of these courts. Participants in drug courts are held accountable for their actions where by they are punished for wrong doing and rewarded for their good behaviors hence ensuring that there is compliance with the program rules (Taxman, F., Cropsey et al., 2007). Intensive services are provided to drug offenders through individual educational services, individual counseling, vocational training, mental health services, prosocial support, status review hearings, and after care services.

The information provided by researchers in this study is based on research findings conducted in several drug courts especially in the United States. This helps the researcher in this study to base the study findings with what has been indicated by previous studies. One of the strengths of this information is that it is up-to-date as most of it was published not later than ten years. The researchers have outlined the strengths of drug courts and have named it as the best correctional program for significant reduction of recidivism rates.  

Extensive studies have been conducted on drug courts with an aim of evaluating their efficacy in as far as reducing recidivism rates among nonviolent drug offenders is concerned. Weitzel et al. (2007) indicate that drug courts have enjoyed enormous support despite the revelation by meta-analyses that drug courts reduce recidivism by an average of 10%. Studies have indicated that the most effective correctional program should reduce recidivism rates by about 26-30% hence drug courts should have effective interventions so that they can offer quality treatment to offenders. Critics of drug courts have indicated that they are not the most effective correctional programs as they only reduce recidivism rates by very low percentage (Staton et al., 2001. Additionally, they assert that drug courts have failed to adhere to the risk principle which is the probability of recidivism. It is stated by the risk principle that criminals’ risk level should always be matched with the intensity of services provided. This means that offenders with high likelihood of reoffending should be provided with the most intense services (Stoops et al., 2005). A number of researches on risk level and correctional program have indicated that intensive correctional programs focusing on higher risk offenders are more effective as compared to those that focus on intense services on low risk criminals. This shows that the correctional program effectiveness can be reduced by violation of the risk principle that is, providing low risk offenders with intensive services (Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, 2008).          

2.2.3 The Level of Service Inventory- Revised (LSI-R)

The level of service inventory-revised (LSI-R) is a survey of criminal characteristics as well as their solutions relevant to their level of treatment and supervision decisions. This survey is conducted quantitatively and is designed for offenders aged 16 years and above. Offenders’ outcomes, recidivism rates, institutional misconduct, and any success in correctional halfway houses are predicted using the LSI-R score (Holsinger et al., 2004). This score has 54 items which are based on legal requirements whereby relevant factors required in the decision making processes about risk and treatment are included. The LSI-R is mainly used by parole and probation officers as well as correctional workers in jails, correctional halfway houses, and detention facilities to assist in making decisions concerning placement and probation, in the allocation of resources, in the assessment of treatment progress, and in making accurate and appropriate security level classifications (Holtfreter & Cupp, 2007). The LSI-R assessment tool is mainly used by probation staff in determining the risk of offenders to engage in criminal behaviors and their treatment needs. In this case therefore, this study is aimed at determining whether there is a positive correlation between the LSI-R score and the outcome of the probationer completing the drug court program successfully or unsuccessfully (Dynia & Sung, 2000). Specifically, this means if the score attained on the LSI-R is a certain number or lower, then it is more likely that the probationer will be successful at completing a drug court program. Conversely, if the score of the LSI-R is of a certain number or higher, then it is likely that the probationer will not be successful at completing a drug court program (Dannerbeck et al., 2006). Finally, it could be determined that there is no correlation between the LSI-R score and the probationer’s likelihood of completing the drug court program successfully or unsuccessfully. But, if there is a correlation between the two, it could mean that the probation officer could look at the LSI-R score and predict probationer’s success in a drug court program (Cosden et al., 2006).  

There has been research conducted on the LSI-R, including one by Lowencamp, Holsinger, Brusman-Lovins, and Latessa (2004) that tested it for reliability and how it estimated risk. This will be beneficial to this study to show reliability in the LSI-R, which is the tool utilized. Koetzle Shaffer, Hartman, Johnson Listwan, Howell, and Latessa (2011) researched the recidivism rates among drug court clients by their drug of choice. Their study has to do with the drug court clients after they are already in drug court and if they reoffend. This is connected with the study I am conducting because if the drug court participants reoffend then they will most likely not be successful at the drug court program, due to a new charge and arrest, unless they are allowed to stay in the program and only given a sanction, which could include jail time. Additionally, there is a study by Guastaferro (2011) that looked at the effectiveness of the LSI-R as a risk assessment by analyzing the use of the LSI-R to assess individual’s criminogenic needs in the drug court program. Again, Guastaferro’s study will assist with this study by already testing the LSI-R for effectiveness. This study is using the LSI-R as the instrument, which is actually what is being studied to find out if there is a correlation between the instrument’s scores and the outcome of a probationer in drug court. There are studies of the LSI-R and drug courts working together, but those studies’ purposes are to find information to help after the participant is already in the program. There is a gap of information to find the most appropriate participant, by using the LSI-R scores. The purpose of identifying the most appropriate participant is to save governments money, so that they are not allowing offenders, who are most likely to fail at completing the program, into the drug court. The LSI-R could be conducted to screen the potential drug offenders in order to determine if they are most appropriate for the drug court program.

A number of studies have embarked on the use of the LSI-R in their assessment of the risks and needs of offenders. A study by Watkins (2011) indicated that the 54 items contained in the LSI-R are grouped into ten subscales: Education/employment, finances, family/marital factor, accommodations, leisure/recreation, alcohol/drug, emotional/personal, attitude/orientation, companions, and criminal history. Basically, the total scores of LSI-R are used in the prediction of recidivism risk while criminogenic needs are identified using the individual subscales (Burnes & Peyrot, 2003). For instance, if an individual has a high risk of reoffending because of his education or employment status, the probation officers are able to discern the best way of preventing reoffending. This can be done by providing vocational training to the participant as a way of enabling him or her to earn a living in the community. The LSI-R was introduced in the Corrective Services in the NSW in the year 2002 as a tool for assessing the risk of offending and needs of offenders (Deschenes et al., 2005). Arguments for the widespread use of this instrument have asserted that LSI-R has greater consistency as well as credibility concerning decisions made about criminals’ risk of recidivism as compared to unstructured professional judgments. The psychometric properties of the LSI-R in the NSW have been investigated by several studies using international samples (Dannerbeck et al., 2006). The main question asked is whether the instrument is valid or reliable. While majority of the evaluations suggested that the LSI-R is a very effective instrument in as far as measuring offenders’ risks and needs, there is a scarcity of precise evaluation establishing the LSI-R in particular regions in the world like in the Australia, the United States, and England. This has called for researchers to base their studies in specific countries in order to investigate the validity and reliability of LSI-R in specific countries (Fletcher et al., 2007).  

A study by Farabee et al., (2011) however suggested that the LSI-R may require to be tested with each criminal population in order to determine the relationship between the indicated LSI-R scores and the subsequent recidivism rates. Basically, the LSI-R risk evaluation scores may change over time since this instrument is composed of both dynamic and static factors. However, very little research has been conducted on the dynamic attributes of the LSI-R hence additional studies are required in order to determine whether these dynamic changes in LSI-R scores are related with the consequent changes in recidivism rates (Jolley & Kerbs, 2010).  

It has been known to researchers for a long period of time that the utilization of risk assessment tools with criminals in different locations can be very problematic. Gray and Saum (2005) in their study found that, there were numerous problems with the predictive validity of the “Wisconsin Case Management Classification System” when it was used with criminals in Ohio and New York, regardless of the fact that it was valid in predicting risk with the criminals it had been tested with. The forerunners of the LSI-R instrument indicated that the LSI performed effectively with one group of criminals and ineffectively with another (Hartman et al., 2007). This indicates that it is important to address the validity and reliability of LSI-R before using it in a correctional program. The initial LSI was developed and tested in Canada in the year 1982 but from this time a lot of adjustments and modifications have been done in order to accommodate the current changes. A number of studies on LSI-R as a risk assessment and need identification tool have been conducted and most of them have indicated that LSI-R has the strongest risk pedigree of any instrument used in predicting risk of reoffending (Houser et al., 2012).

2.3 Theoretical Foundation

A discrete forum for the application of the therapeutic jurisprudence theory is provided by the drug courts. This theory is based on the idea that the psychological and physical wellbeing of individuals is promoted by the legal rules and procedures (Senjo & Leip, 2001). In drug courts, offenders participate in numerous legal and treatment processes which are collectively targeted at producing positive and attractive behavioral changes not only for the individual offenders but also the entire society. The rationale of selecting this theory is to gather more information concerning therapeutic jurisprudence and use it as an analytical instrument in the examination of drug treatment courts. As Arrigo (2004) notes, for a long period of time, legal procedures, institutions, rules, and actors have been informed by therapeutic jurisprudence. This doctrine has been applied by many academic criminologists in the interpretation of the criminal justice agencies, programs, and personnel. The main purpose of therapeutic jurisprudence is to examine the impact of the law on psychological and physical well being of offenders through social and behavioral science research (Birgden, 2004). At issue in this study is whether there is a statistically significant positive correlation between the LSI-R score and drug court participants’ success.

Therapeutic jurisprudence theory was established by Professor David Wexler and Professor Bruce Winick in the year 1991 who collectively suggested that court is therapeutic to people and hence the study of the role played by the law as a therapeutic agent is referred as therapeutic jurisprudence. In an interdisciplinary manner, the theory combines psychology, law, psychiatry, criminology, public health, philosophy, and criminal justice (Hickert et al., 2009). In its introduction, this theory focused mainly on mental health but later expanded to include legal concepts. The cofounders poised that there was a need to renew academic interest in this sector. It was from this notion that therapeutic jurisprudence perspective was developed and described as a study of the extent to which legal processes, substantive rules, and the roles of judges and lawyers produce anti-therapeutic or therapeutic outcomes for criminals. From this narrow start, therapeutic jurisprudence theory has gained popularity and has been referred to by many researchers and scholars in both health sciences and criminology. According to Miller and Shutt (2001), therapeutic jurisprudence has been used by several authors as an interdisciplinary scholarly approach in the examination of a wide range of legal subjects. This theory has been increasingly used by scholars and educators in many other areas other than mental health law, like domestic violence, corrections, and tort reform among others.     

According to Schma (2000), the therapeutic jurisprudence theory assumes that the way the law is carried out is capable of affecting the offender’s wellbeing and the law has social science knowledge that should be able to determine the most effective methods of improving the well- being. This implies that the well-being of an individual can be changed by the application of the law (Koetzle Shaffer et al., 2011). For instance, when an offender is brought before the law for wrong doing, the law should utilize that opportunity and initiate a prosocial life style to the offender thus changing his life. The theory also suggests a required correctional setting that should be used in improving the therapeutic effects of the law (Lowenkamp et al., 2004). Therapeutic jurisprudence applies to this study by examining the relationship between court action (independent variable) and success at completing the drug court program (dependent variable).

The founders of this theory indicated that, despite that the drug treatment courts movement was established without the advantage of therapeutic jurisprudence, it represent an important step in the evolution of therapeutic jurisprudence. This step is the step from theory to application (Listwan et al., 2003). Traditionally, therapeutic jurisprudence theory was only learned in theoretical form but it is increasingly under application in many criminology and law studies and institutions. With the introduction of the drug treatment principles to the most drug addicted offenders, the drug treatment courts unwittingly applied the concepts and ideas of therapeutic jurisprudence daily in several of courtrooms across the United States (Marlowe et al., 2006). Once this is realized by the drug treatment courts, the principles of therapeutic jurisprudence can be applied by drug treatment courts in improving existing procedures, increasing the safety of societies across the country, and making greater impact on the lives of drug addicted nonviolent offenders (Mullany & Peat, 2008). The proponents of this theory assert that theories, findings, and philosophies of different disciplines as well as fields of study should be used by society in shaping the development of the law. Patra et al. (2010) suggest that, socio-psychological ways form the main focus of the therapeutic jurisprudence theory whereby laws and legal procedures impact individuals involved in the legal system. In this case, through the examination of the effects of the law in this respect, the nature in which laws and legal processes support or undermine the public policy reasons for implementing those laws and legal procedures is illuminated by the therapeutic jurisprudence (Saum et al., 2001).

Proponents of therapeutic jurisprudence theory view that, others considerations should be of great importance when looking at the application of therapeutic jurisprudence. This implies that, in many cases other societal values should trump over therapeutic considerations (Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, 2008). A good example here is the high value placed on the freedom of the press. This means that despite that an individual’s psychological and emotional state may be negatively affected by viewing negative things about him/herself in the media, the society determines that the value of a free press is much more than its potential damaging emotional and psychological effect on the individual (Staton et al., 2001). According to the assumptions of the therapeutic jurisprudence, only the psychological and mental health aspects of a legal process or a law should be examined to provide information on its potential for success in the achievement of its stated goal. In this case therefore, therapeutic jurisprudence is viewed as a tool for achieving a new and unique perspective on matters regarding the law and its applications rather than being viewed as the dominant perspective (Taxman & Bouffard, 2003).  

The principles of therapeutic jurisprudence can be effectively applied in the drug treatment courts and its operations. The emergence of these courts and their efficiency across the United States is a reflection of the increased recognition on the part of prosecutors, judges, and the defense counsel that probation, incarnation and parole which are the methods of the traditional criminal justice system have not effectively contained the problem of drug offenders in the country (Yeh & Doyle, 2005). The therapeutic jurisprudence theory is mainly concerned with explaining the drug court offenders are affected by the rules and legal processes used in these courts. Court monitoring process is therefore incorporated in the theoretical model. Wolf et al. (2003) indicate that drug cases are streamlined away from traditional punishment and processing into an intensive drug treatment program. In this case, the psychological and physical well being of drug offenders in drug treatment courts is promoted through substituting the adversarial approach with a more collaborative approach of case management (Wolfe et al., 2002). With drug courts the drug offenders are not only punished for wrong doing but also treated from drug addictions in order to ensure that they are discouraged from repeating their crimes. The collaborative work of the judge, prosecution, drug treatment providers, probation representatives, and the defense counsel in monitoring the treatment process for the drug offenders would be effective in changing their drug addiction and criminal behaviors (Wilson et al., 2006). This implies that all these professionals must work together in applying ‘smart punishment’ to drug offenders rather than punishing them hard for the sake of retribution. Criminologists have indicated that retribution is an important method of reducing crime rates in community but cannot be very effective among drug offenders since they commit crimes out of the influence of drugs (Weisheit & Fuller, 2004). The best solution is therefore to treat their drug addictions and train them how to live together with other community members and this is a key principle of the drug court programs. In the drug treatment courts, the goal of the court become therapeutic as the court remains a legal institution. The judge plays a critical role in the collaboration approach of the court as the participants are linked to drug treatment and the criminal justice system by the judge (Wagner & Anthony, 2007).

Addressing the drug offenders’ drug related problems effectively is an important component of drug courts in the treatment of offenders. As suggested by the therapeutic jurisprudence, addicted drug offenders are considered as being sick in the drug courts rather than blameworthy. This helps the court operation to see the need of providing them with effective treatment. Based on the case of Robinson v. California (1962), the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that drug addiction is not illegal hence addicted drug offenders should be considered as sick people who require treatment (Simourd, 2004). The therapeutic jurisprudence states that the best thing to deal with drug addiction is to treat it rather than punish it. As Tyner and Fremouw (2008) note, relapses can occur even when drug offenders are treated since addiction is a disease. This therefore indicates that the drug treatment court has the responsibility of responding to relapses with progressive sanctions and improves the treatment offered rather than performing an immediate termination of the participant (Shaffer et al., 2008). The therapeutic jurisprudence theory assumes that drug and addiction should be considered as two separate things for treatment to be effective. The fact that the court tolerates slips in the treatment program like missing some court dates is an illustration of the therapeutic jurisprudence philosophy since it is clearly recognized by the court that the participants are undergoing treatment as they have a problem with drug use. By allowing addicted drug offenders to receive different types of treatment, the drug courts promote physical and psychological well being of these offenders (Shaffer et al., 2009).

Offender characteristics is another important component of the application of therapeutic jurisprudence in the drug treatment courts. These are demographic characteristics of offenders have substantial impact on behavior change. In drug court evaluations, the most important variables include gender, race, education/employment, and age and are very critical in the therapeutic jurisprudence theoretical model (Shaffer, 2006). Stoops et al. (2005) hypothesized that elderly people have lower probability of engaging in drug related criminal behaviors since they are old enough to make well informed decisions rather than relying on peer pressures. Additionally, the authors indicated that males have higher probability of becoming addicted to drugs hence engaging in drug related criminal behaviors as compared to females.

The drug treatment courts are made effective by the rules of law and procedures that are established. Following these laws and legal procedures to the latter is the most important aspect in the program especially in the structural implementation of therapeutic ideals. Immediacy is recognized as a major component of the treatment process hence prompt appearance of the offenders before the court after their arrest is considered as one of the program procedures. According to Semple et al. (2008), when drug offenders are brought before the drug court immediately, the program is able to create an immediate crisis for the offender and hence drug abusing behavior can be forced into the open making it very difficult for the offenders to deny it. Adherence to the drug court laws and legal procedures helps in making the treatment process effective and easy hence benefiting the offenders and saving the government’s money that would otherwise be used in repeating some of the treatment procedures that were omitted (Saum et al., 2001).

2.4 Conceptual Framework

Independent variables                                                    Dependent variable           

Gender
 Race
 Age
Education/employment
Treatment program completion success 

Offender demographic characteristics play an important role in impacting behavior change hence they are included in the theoretical model. Some drug court literature have indicated that there are some differences in offenders attributes among those who change their conducts and successfully complete the treatment program and those who did not change their drug addiction behaviors and did not complete the treatment program successfully. According to a study conducted by Aharonovich et al. (2006) on drug treatment court success, race is a significant predictor of successful treatment program completion. The study indicated that white offenders were more likely to successfully complete the treatment program as compared to non-white offenders. As Andrews and Bonta (2006) found in their study, Hispanic offenders were less likely to successfully complete the treatment program as compared to non-Hispanic. The authors also found that there was a higher possibility for African Americans to successfully complete the program than others.

Mixed findings on the relationship between gender and program success have been documented in literature. Men were found to have a bit higher completion rates as compared to women in a study by Bouffard and Richardson (2007). However, Brewster (2001) found that males were less likely to successfully complete the treatment program. Looking at these findings it is clear that it depends on where the study was conducted as completion of treatment program may be influenced by other factors like court laws and legal procedures. Nonetheless, there are no significant differences between genders with regards to completion of treatment program.

A number of studies have indicated that older drug offenders are more likely to complete the treatment as compared to the young participants. Butzin et al. (2002) found that older drug offenders especially those aged above 34 years had higher program completion rates than the younger ones (below the age of 34). The reason given is that the older people are more determined to heal from addictions and resume to their normal behaviors as dictated by the ages but the young people are still influenced by their peers (California Department of Alcohol and Drug Programs, 2006).

Education and employment were also found to impact behavior change and program completion. Castro et al. (2000) found that education was a very good predictor of program completion since better educated drug offenders were more likely to complete the treatment program as compared to less educated participants. This is because educated participants are better informed and may be they have been trying to fight the addiction problem on their own to no avail. On the other hand, employment was used in predicting program completion whereby employed participants had higher program completion rates as compared to unemployed participants (Cosden et al., 2006).  

The previous studies stated above are very important in this study as they set a precedent and help the researcher to gauge the validity and reliability of the study. In this case, the current study should not give findings with high rates of divergence from the previous studies. For instance, if the current study found that the program completion rates of educated participants is much lower than those of uneducated participants, the study is not valid as there is no positive link with the previous studies.

2.5 Summary and Conclusions

There are mixed reactions to the link between drug use and criminal behaviors. Some scholars maintain that nonviolent drug offenders commit crimes under the influence of drugs. In the United States, most of the drug offenders in prisons were found to have abused drugs before or during committing a crime hence indicating that the link between drug abuse and criminal behaviors is very strong (Cunha et al., 2004). This study has found that people using drugs are about 3 to 4 times more likely to commit crimes or criminal behaviors than non users and more than a half of all the inmates whether local, federal or state in the United States have used drugs at the time of their current criminal behavioral.

Traditional criminal justice system used incarceration as a way of reducing recidivism but this method was not the most effective. This is because drug offenders are not considered as blameworthy but as sick people who require treatment (Dannerbeck et al., 2006). Despite that incarceration is one of the ways of ensuring that offenders do not repeat their offenses in future, it has not been effective since some criminals do not fear to be punished as they are influenced to commit crimes by illicit drugs and substances.

In this case therefore, the drug treatment courts have been found as the most effective way of treating drug addiction among drug offenders hence reducing recidivism rates. Since a lot of tax payers’ money is used in treating drug offenders to the extent that some criminologists have ruled against its efficiency, LSI-R score is appropriately used in determining the offenders who should under go treatment and their completion rates. Successful treatment program completion is influenced by offender demographic characteristics such as age, gender, race, and education/employment (Dynia & Sung, 2000).

The criminal justice practitioners and policymakers can get significant information from this study on the theory of therapeutic jurisprudence and its principles as well as implementation of drug court programs. The findings of the previous studies have indicated that therapeutic jurisprudence mainly focuses on the physical, emotional, and psychological impact of law, legal actors, and legal procedures hence impacting the outcomes of the participants. The theory asserts that drug offenders should not be considered as criminals who have broken the laws but as people suffering from mental problems due to drug abuse hence need treatment. The criminal justice practitioners and policymakers should know that incarceration is not the best way of preventing or reducing recidivism but addiction treatment can do better.

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