Understanding Drugs, Alcohol and Crime

By Trevor Bennett; Katy Holloway | Go to book overview

chapter eight
The effectiveness of interventions

Introduction

Treatment

Criminal justice programmes

Variations by the type of programme

Variations by intensity of the programme

Variations by the characteristics of subjects

Conclusion

Further reading


Introduction

This chapter looks at methods of tackling drug use and the problem of drug-related offending. In particular, it will examine the effectiveness of treatment approaches and criminal justice interventions in reducing criminal behaviour. The term 'treatment approaches' refers to traditional programmes aimed at drug users who voluntarily present themselves for treatment. These approaches are mainly aimed at controlling or reducing drug use. However, they may also serve to control or reduce offending. The term 'criminal justice interventions' refers to court orders or other criminal justice processes whereby drug-misusing offenders might receive treatment for drug misuse as part of the disposal. These programmes are sometimes described as 'coercive treatment' in that they are based on referral to treatment by the criminal justice system rather than self-referral. Criminal justice approaches are concerned with both reducing drug use and reducing crime. This chapter will look at the effectiveness of both types of programme in reducing criminal behaviour by reviewing the results of evaluative research.


Previous reviews of treatment

There have been a number of reviews of the literature on the effectiveness of treatment programmes. Most of these have focused on the effects of the

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