Alternative Courts and Drug Treatment: Finding a Rehabilitative Solution for Addicts in a Retributive System

49 Pages Posted: 4 Nov 2015

See all articles by Molly Webster

Molly Webster

Fordham University, School of Law, Students

Date Written: November 1, 2015

Abstract

Sentencing drug crimes and treating drug-addicted defendants often stem from contradictory theories of punishment. In the late twentieth century, courts traded rehabilitation for retributive ideals to fight the “War on Drugs.” However, beginning with the Miami-Dade Drug Court, treatment and rehabilitation have returned to the forefront of sentencing policy in traditional and alternative drug courts.

Jurisdictions have implemented a variety of policies designed to treat addiction as opposed to punishing it. Community courts, such as the Red Hook Community Justice Center in Brooklyn, New York, community-panel drug courts, such as the Woodbury County Community Drug Court in Iowa, and Hawaii’s Opportunity Probation with Enforcement represent efforts to address treatment within the court system. This Note argues that certain policies are more likely to benefit drug-addicted defendants than others, including procedural justice, predictable sanctions, and an increased focus on treatment. It also posits that qualitative studies measuring long-term success of drug treatment programs should be commissioned to ensure that drug courts utilize the most effective treatment policies that promote rehabilitative ideals.

Keywords: drug court, alternative court, retributivism, rehabilitation, red hook community justice center, woodbury county community drug court, hawaii's opportunity probation with enforcement, hope, addict, diversion, problem solving court

Suggested Citation

Webster, Molly, Alternative Courts and Drug Treatment: Finding a Rehabilitative Solution for Addicts in a Retributive System (November 1, 2015). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2685361 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2685361

Molly Webster (Contact Author)

Fordham University, School of Law, Students ( email )

New York, NY
United States

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