Due to the high drug epidemic in the 1960’s and 1970’s there was a call to change the laws surrounding the penalties for drug possession. This began as an effort to reduce the sale and use of illicit drugs. This law was known as the Rockefeller Drug Laws. The law stated that if a person was in possession of four ounces of narcotics the minimum sentence would be fifteen years to life. This was approximately the same about of time as someone being sentenced for second-degree murder. This was one of the most abrasive moves taken in the war against drugs. There were several issues surrounding this laws; should those convicted be better served in a treatment facility, the conviction rate was still high but crime did not go down, and rising recidivism rates for non-violent offenders. In April of 2009, the state legislature that removed the Rockefeller Drug Laws. The reform shifted away from mass incarceration towards a public health model. The two key components of this reform were to remove the mandatory minimum sentences, and restoration of judicial discretion to order treatment and rehabilitation as an alternative to incarceration. Since the reform the legislation has been constantly making revisions to the law. It has added the removal of prison mandates and created more judicial diversion programs, such as drug courts. The drug courts were initially started in the early 1990’s and had a unique style of per individual for rewards and consequences based off their actions in the hopes to help them successfully re-enter the community. With that model it leaves a lot of grey area and is very subjective, stricter laws later reformed this idea. When judicial power was restored to the judges they than had the power to place clients in dr... ... middle of paper ... ...m they will reside at Riker’s till the court discharges them which usually has a quick turn around time. They must than complete the drug programs and in most cases their sentences are lowered or charges are lowered. This supports the rehabilitation model versus retribution. While working at Riker’s I can see the emotional strain that parole causes on clients. The constant checking in, and meeting here, and drug testing is overwhelming and cumbersome. My clients specifically committed there crimes almost 20 years ago. They are both in well into their late 40’s and 50’s. My clients find it difficult to consider themselves an adult. They both maintain drug free lives but still have to report to parole. They constantly have an authority figure about them dictating their lives. Clients reported their mishaps with parole stem from their resistance to report to parole.
Once these individuals in rehab serve there sentence the majority of them, won’t look straight to the next opportunity to get high, but the next opportunity for a better future after being encouraged in rehab to accomplish something in life, compared to someone’s attitude coming out of prison. One story involved a man named Richard with his wife Marcia. She was an addict who was often jailed for it, but Anthony believed like many others that “addiction can be overcome with proper help. He believed that the solution was to get her into a mental hospital [and] get her whatever she needs – Xanax, morphine, to get her chemical imbalance right. Show her some respect. (114)” Give her some working skills, so once she gets out she is capable of being successful but instead she kept getting “kicked down the steps” by the criminal justice system. The jailing and torture of addicts is routine to people serving cases for drug related offenses, who are often not built to endure prison, let alone jail. “The Justice Department estimates that 216,000 people are raped in these prisons every year. (This is the number of rapes, not the number of rapes – that is much higher.) (109)” This is ultimately shows the simple fact that many people are not built to endure
To begin, drug courts were established in Miami in 1989 during the “war on crime” era. According to Cooper (2003), “the immediate goals of the drug court were to reduce the recidivism rate of these defendants while they were awaiting disposition of their cases, reduce the failure to appear at trial rate, and provide at least some level of treatment services” (p. 1672). During the “war on crime” era, criminal rates were escalating and courts were overflowing with case loads and the drug court was implemented in order to find another way to help solve the drug problems with select offenders. Additionally, “the primary purpose of the Miami drug court was, therefore, not therapeutic, although it clearly had therapeutic elements, but, rather to promote public safety and more effective judicial supervision of defendants while awaiting trial” (Cooper, 2003, p. 1672). Providing a safe sanction for offenders as well as the community was an efficient solution to control the caseloads of drug offenders and ensure the safety of the community.
On January 3, 1973 Governor Nelson R. Rockefeller first proposed to create new drug laws that would help fight the current war on drugs that was taking over New York City. Rockefeller proposed to sentence anyone who committed a level A-1 felony, which is the highest level, would be sentence to minimum 15 years to life in prison. There was much controversy on these laws. Some were happy that a stand was finally being made; they wanted the streets to be cleaned of drugs. Others saw it as a racism tactic, to put all African Americans and Hispanics behind bars. In the end these new drug laws went into effect on May 8 1973 and were named after Rockefeller himself, Rockefeller drug laws.
The United States enacted mandatory minimum sentences for drug convictions beginning in 1951 with the Boggs Act. The Boggs Act provided both mandatory minimum sentences for first-time drug convictions and it increased the length of sentences for subsequent convictions. In 1956, the Narcotics Control Act increased the minimum sentences spelled out in the Boggs Act. It also forbade judges from suspending sentences or imposing probation in cases where they felt a prison sentence was inappropriate. In 1970, the Nixon Administration and Congress negotiated a bill that sought to address drug addiction through rehabilitation; provide better tools for law enforcement in the fight against drug trafficking and manufacturing; and provide a more balanced scheme of penalties for drug crimes. The final product, the Comprehensive Drug Abuse Prevention and Control Act of 1970, repealed man...
The purpose of this paper is to inform about effect the drug treatment programs in prison are and who they affect the most. The programs are meant to for re-offenders with an extensive drug record. Some of the questions the researchers asked was how well do the programs work for the inmates, who does it effect, and does different drugs affect the programs. In 2002 there was 250 prison based drug treatment programs in 40 states. In 2004 the number went up to 290 treatment programs in 44 states. (Farebee et al. 1999) The main focus of the programs are to help inmates so they do not reoffend once released from prison. Drug treatment programs help the different inmates by using different programs.
Those who abuse drugs need to have proper treatment in order to refrain from continuing their addiction after prison by being sent to a rehabilitation facility, or in the case that money is not available, a free program or sober living household instead of putting them in jail. The use and abuse of drugs in our country is a large and rising issue. A start to solving this problem is as simple as having those arrested instead sent for a cure for their addiction. Each user sent to rehab is another user cured from our world and more drugs off the streets. The reduction of drugs will come one step at a time, and this could be a huge step forward if the leaders of our nation are willing to give it a try.
The purpose of Drug Court is to address addiction/ substance use problems of criminal defendants through an intense supervision treatment program and develop productive, healthy members of society, rather than criminals. Offenders who remain incarcerated may or may not get the help or intervention they need. In many cases, the help they do receive is often limited depending on the facility or jurisdiction they are in. However, more and more correctional facilities are focusing on addiction and substance use and abuse rehabilitation and treatment programs. An excellent example of a program in a correctional facility and something, a tool, that Drug Court uses as a sanction is a program at Henrico County’s Jail East called
The harsh punishment for drug crimes in the United States of America is not working. “With roughly half a million people behind bars in the U.S. for nonviolent drug offenses, drugs are as plentiful and widely used as ever” (Grenier, 2013). Even with very harsh long sentences and many people imprisoned drug use is as common as ever in America. ‘We cannot close our eyes anymore’ to the cost in human lives destroyed and taxpayer dollars wasted” (Holcomb, 2015). Harsh drug penalties are destroying American citizens lives and is costing a lot of money from taxpayers. “Yet, people who want treatment can often expect to endure an obstacle course just to get help” (Grenier, 2013). The Unites States government is spending a large amount of money on arresting and imprisoning drug users, yet are putting little to no focus on funding drug medical help for
Meanwhile, with the pressure of budge shortfalls, rehabilitation increasingly becomes to be one of the most effective way to place offenders. Restorative justice is a criminal rehabilitation system that aims to reduce recidivism rates. In Minnesota and Vermont, restorative justice programs have been implemented as a rehabilitation tool, rather than abolishing imprisonment. The main idea is that offenders could benefit from reduced sentences by completing programs (Immarigeon, 1995). Drug rehabilitation is one of the programs that have been proved to be effective on reducing recidivism rates. The programs include the “in-prison treatment” , “the work release program” and aftercare program. It is reported by the Federal Bureau of Prisons that drug offenders accounts for a large part of prisoners housed in federal prisons, which is about 52.2 percent (Rosansky, n.d.). In the study, it is found that more than 75 per cent of offenders who complete the programs do not recidivate. The reason why this program succeeded is that the policy makers target the potential collateral consequence that it is difficult for prisoners to reintegrate into society after the
Right now in the United States there are over 2 million people incarcerated in the country’s prisons and jails. Out of this population about one-quarter of these inmates have been convicted of a drug offense. With drug offense arrests increasing nationwide and the prison population increasing there is an alternative to incarceration has been used over the past two decades in many cities across the country. This alternative is in the form of local drug courts that are now found in most major cities in the United States. A drug court is a specialized court in which the judge, prosecutor, public defender or private attorney, probation officers, and treatment counselors work together to help chemically dependent offenders obtain needed treatment and rehabilitation in an attempt to break the cycle of addiction and further criminal offenses. Some argue that treatment rather than incarceration is a waste of time and valuable resources that could be used elsewhere. Research however has shown that court ordered treatment is the best option for drug offenders. Treatments through drug court has proven to be less expensive than incarceration and has also been shown to reduce crime and provide a lower relapse and re-arrest rate for offenders that are placed in drug courts as opposed to those that are not.
In the United States, it is estimated that approximately 650,000 inmates are released from prisons each year and will return to their communities. Out of the 650,000 persons, an estimated three quarters of them have a history of substance abuse (Office of Justice Programs, 2004). To put specific figures to the above numbers, it is estimated that approximately 95% of all inmates will be eventually released from prison. Of the 95% that will be released, about 80% will be placed on some form of community supervision (Hughes et al., 2004). This group returns to the community looking for housing, employment, medical care and treatment, but often they are unable to get the assistance needed. The lack of pre-release planning and an overall lack of coordination between the various systems, often result in repeat offending and ultimately recidivism.
During the 19th and 20th century, federal judges had essentially unconstrained sentencing discretion. This gave way to large disparities between the sentencing of certain cases that were almost identical. To amend this, Congress modified the federal sentencing process through the Sentencing Reform Act of 1984. This act helped take power away from district courts as well as establish the United States Sentencing Commission; which regulated the small amount of discretion the district courts still held. District courts no longer were able to exercise leniency as the USSC imposed mandatory minimum sentencing for certain types of crime. Two years later, Congress passed the Anti-Drug Abuse Act of 1986 which imposed minimum sentencing for violations of federally controlled substance laws. This trend has continued, covering different crimes such as child pornography and identity
F. Roper there are seven principles on which drug courts are based: “1. retaining the participant in treatment through the pain of withdrawal, 2. helping the participant overcome fear, craving, and shame 3. Providing modulated and immediate sanctions, 4. Discriminating between behavior and addiction symptoms 5. Providing a system of rewards 6. Understanding that weather an act constitutes a punishment or a reward depends on the perception of the recipient 7. Dismissing charges as a reward” (7). The treatment for addicts is efficient, the discomfort of substance misuse in the initial step is very severe addicts often turn back to using drugs, unless they are forced to complete treatment. A team of skilled professionals work together making sure that the treatment program is sufficient to supply all the needs
One of the most profound problems that plagues our society is drug addiction. With drug addiction comes those who offend and have run-ins with the law. Our country deals with these drug-addicted offenders by placing them in jails for a year or longer, only to have them come back out to society when their sentence is over. They are still drug-addicts and so they return to the street only to commit yet another crime. From here the cycle of crime, arrest, jail, and return to society continues, solving absolutely nothing. Therefore, placing drug-addicted offenders in jails fails to confront the major problem at hand which is that of the drug abuse. If drug-addicted offenders were placed in drug treatment centers instead of being incarcerated, the problem of drug abuse would have a much higher opportunity to be flushed from the offender's life. Thus, the chance of that the offender would commit another crime for drugs would be reduced.
Many criminals who have drug habits will continue to abuse drugs after they are released from prison without the proper treatment. This is a recurring problem and recidivism is a problem that affects roughly half of all prisoners. According to a study conducted by the Bureau of Justice Statistics, about 67.8% of released prisoners were arrested for a new crime within 3 years, and 76.6% were arrested within 5 years (Cooper, Durose, Snyder). Having multiple rehabilitation or treatment programs would greatly decrease the number of prisoners who are reconvicted. Correction systems could focus on a short time period of incarceration, then followed by rehabilitation for a much longer period of time. That rehabilitation could be community-based or serving time in an institution until cleared to