Reinventing the Justice Paradigm: Drug Court Programs and the Integration of the Rehabilitation Model

Lloyd Klein, Louisiana State University Shreveport

The tough rhetoric on crime control has enabled political forces to assert a strong justice model approach toward dealing with crime and punishment. The legacy of a failed national drug policy leaves us with overcrowded prisons and little hope for rehabilitating offenders with serious drug problems. The nationwide application of drug court programs has the potential for stemming this trend and producing more hopeful results. Judges and social workers cooperate in monitoring drug offenders in a community-based corrections type program monitored within the courts system. This paper examines the problems produced by a "get tough on crime" ideology and some hopeful solutions to recidivism through the examination of: 1) conflicts between the crime control and rehabilitation models; 2) the nature of drug court programs; 3) utilization of drug courts in various parts of the country; and 4) specific utilization and impact of a drug court within a local community.

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Updated 05/20/2006