Findings From Research on Treating the Criminal Justice-Involved Drug Abuser

Jerry Flanzer, National Institute on Drug Abuse
Bennett W. Fletcher, National Institute on Drug Abuse

Research on the effectiveness of drug abuse treatment for criminal justice-involved patients has shown that treatment is effective in reducing drug use and drug-related criminality, but there is much yet to be learned. Accumulating evidence suggests that treatment provided during incarceration must be followed by community-based treatment to sustain gains. The relationship between coercion and motivation must be better understood if legal pressure and sanctions are to be optimally effective. Care must be used in making the assertion that ""treatment works"" given the different perspectives of public health and public safety. NIDA''s next generation of research, through its focus on integrating drug abuse treatment into the criminal justice system, will inform questions about how best to organize, manage, and deliver treatment to drug-involved offenders in these disparate systems.

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Updated 05/20/2006