Essay On Drugs And Crime

  • Post category:Essay
  • Reading time:12 mins read

Essay On Drugs And Crime

The link between drug use and crime is not a new one. For more than twenty years, there have been many researches to try to better understand the connection. One such study was done on heroin users. This study found high rates of criminality among users during periods of active drug use and much lower rates during periods of non-use.

A large number of people who abuse drugs come into contact with the criminal justice system when they are sent to jail or to other correctional facilities. The criminal justice system is flooded with substance abusers. The need for expanding drug abuse treatment for this group of people was recognised in the Crime Act of 1994, which for the first time provided substantial resources for federal and state jurisdictions. Experts have developed the general theory of crime.

According to their theory, the criminal act and the criminal offender are separate concepts. The criminal act is perceived as opportunity, illegal activities that people engage in when they perceive them to be advantageous. Crimes are committed when they promise rewards with minimum threat of pain or punishment.

Crimes that provide easy, short-term gratification are often committed. The number of offenders may remain the same, while crime rates fluctuate due to the amount of opportunity. Criminal offenders are people that are predisposed to committing crimes. This does not mean that they have no choice in the matter, it only means that their self-control level is lower than average. When a person has limited selfcontrol, they tend to be more impulsive and shortsighted.

This ties back in with crimes that are committed that provide easy, short-term gratification. These people do not necessarily have a tendency to commit crimes, they just do not look at long-term consequences and they tend to be reckless and selfcentred. These people with lower levels of self-control also engage in non-criminal acts as well. These acts include drinking, gambling, smoking and illicit sexual activity.

Also, drug use is a common act that is performed by these people. They do not look at the consequences of the drugs, while they get the shortterm gratification. Sometimes this drug abuse becomes an addiction and then the person will commit other small crimes to get the drugs or them money to get the drugs. In a study done, there was a significant relationship between self-control and use of illegal drugs.

The problem is once these people get into the criminal justice system, it is hard to get them out. After they do their time and are released, it is much easier to be sent back to prison. Once they are out, they revert back to their impulsive selves and continue with the only type of life they know. They know short-term gratification, the ‘quick fix’ if you will. Being locked up with thousands of other people in the same situation as them is not going to change them at all. They break parole and are sent back to prison.

Since the second half of the 1980’s, there has been a large growth in prison and jail populations, continuing a trend that started in the 1970’s. The proportion of drug users in the incarcerated population also grew at the same time. By the end of the 1980’s, about one-third of those sent to state prisons had been convicted of a drug offence, the highest in the country’s history. With the arrival of crack use in the 1980’s, the strong relationship between drugs and crime got stronger. The use of cocaine and heroin became very prevalent.

In the United States, therapeutic communities are used in the treatment of drug addicts in and out of prison. These communities involve a type of group therapy that focusses more on the person as a whole and not so much the offence they committed or their drug abuse. They use a ‘community of peers’ and role models rather than professional clinicians. They focus on lifestyle changes and tend to be more holistic. By getting inmates to participate in these programs, the prisoners can break their addiction to drugs. By freeing themselves from this addiction they can change their lives.

These therapeutic communities can teach them some self-control and ways that they can direct their energies into more productive things, such as sports, religion or work. Seven out of every ten men and eight out of every ten women in the criminal justice system used drugs with some regularity prior to entering the criminal justice system.

With that many people in prisons that are using drugs and the connection between drug use and crime, then if there was any success at all it seems like it would be a step in the right direction. Many of these offenders will not seek any type of reform when they are in the community.

They feel that they do not have the time to commit to go through a program of rehabilitation. It makes sense, then, that they should receive treatment while in prison because one thing they have plenty of is time. In 1979, around four per cent of the prison population or about 10,000, were receiving treatment through the 160 programs that were available throughout the country. Forty-nine of these programs were based on the therapeutic community model, which served around 4,200 prisoners.

In 1989, the percentage of prisoners that participated in these programs grew to about elever. per cent. Some incomplete surveys state today that over half the states provide some form of treatment to their prisoners and about twenty per cent of identified drug-using offenders are using these programs. The public started realising that drug abuse and crime were on the rise and that something had to be done about it. This led to more federal money being put into treatment programs in prisons.

In most therapeutic communities, recovered drug users are placed in a therapeutic environment, isolated from the general prison population. This is due to the fact that if they live with the general population, it is much harder to break away from old habits. The primary clinical staff is usually made up of former substance abusers that at one time were rehabilitated in therapeutic communities.

The perspective of the treatment is that the problem is with the whole person and not the drug. The addiction is a symptom and not the core of the disorder. The primary goal is to change patterns of behaviour, thinking and feeling that predispose drug use. This returns to the general theory of crime and the argument that it is the opportunity that creates the problem. If you take away the opportunity to commit crimes by changing one’s behaviour and thinking then the opportunity will not arise for the person to commit these crimes that were readily available in the past.

The most effective form of therapeutic community intervention involves three stages: incarceration, work release and parole or other form of supervision. The primary stage needs to consist of a prison-based therapeutic community. Pro-social values should be taught in an environment that is separate from the normal prison population. This should be an ongoing and evolving process that lasts at least twelve months, with the ability to stay longer if it is deemed necessary.

The prisoners need to grasp the concept of the addiction cycle and interact with other recovering addicts. The second stage should include a transitional work release program. This is a form of partial incarceration in which inmates that are approaching release dates can work for pay in the free community, but they must spend their non working hours in either the institution or a work release facility.

The only problem here is that during their stay at this facility, they are reintroduced to groups and behaviours that put them there in the first place. If it is possible, these recovering addicts should stay together and live in a separate environment than the general population. Once the inmate is released into the free community, he or she will remain under the supervision of a parole officer or some other type of supervisory program. Treatment should continue through either outpatient counselling or group therapy.

The main question that arises when dealing with this subject is whether or not people change. According to experts, the person does not change. only the opportunity changes. By separating themselves from people that commit crimes and commonly do drugs, they are actually avoiding the opportunity to commit these crimes.

They do not put themselves in the situation that would allow their low self-control to take over. Starting relationships with people who exhibit selfcontrol and ending relationships with those who do not is a major factor in the frequency of committing crimes.

Addiction treatment is very important to a country’s war on drugs. While these abusers are incarcerated, it provides us with an excellent opportunity to give them treatment. The will not seek treatment on their own. Without treatment, the chances of them continuing on with their past behaviour are very high. But with the treatment programs, things might be looking up.

The studies done on the various programs prove that there are cost effective ways available to treat these prisoners. Not only are they cost effective, but they are also proven to reduce relapse rates significantly. These findings are very consistent throughout all of the research, there are not opposing views.

We can effectively treat these prisoners while they are imprisoned and they can be released into society and be productive, not destructive. Nothing else has worked to this point, we owe it to them, and more importantly, we owe it to ourselves. We can again feel safe on the streets after dark and we do not have to spend so much of our money to do it.

Essay On Drugs And Crime


Leave a Reply