Drug Law Enforcement

Starting with the heroin endemic during 1960’s and continuing throughout the devastating crack outbreak, drug crisis has frequently taken a central position in American crime control policy and politics. “Legalism” was been the fundamental policy in U.S. substance policy throughout the 1980’s.  From this viewpoint, drug use challenges the founded social order and moral basis of authority. The drug policies have insisted on criminal penalties and avoidance over prevention and treatment as regulation mechanisms. These drug policies own a push-down-crop up effect: the great the pressure applied in a single place, the more possible new problems will crop up in another. For example, criminal sanctions for low-level crack users have shifted resources away from treatment as control mechanisms. The lessons from years of legalistic substance policies propose that avoidance strategies have been unsuccessful in decreasing drug usage. Enforcement policies have taken-up resources, increased the health risks linked with drugs, and heightened the scales of violence adjacent to drug markets. Drug policies have also increased drug sellers’ profits and attracted additional youths into selling, as the exaggerated signs of conspicuous intake by dealers serve as a siren for youth’s people. Harsh sentencing laws used widely and erratically have undermined, instead of reinforcing, the ethical authority of the law.

Policy recommendations

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Policies require focusing on decreasing the damaging consequences of drug usage and placing criminal penalties in a framework identifying the scale of drug problems. Enforcement and trial have to be used to interrupt middle and upper-level trafficking. On the other hand, treatment or substitute sanctions ought to be used to decrease drug demand amongst offenders, whose drug consumption has driven them towards the criminal justice system. The foundation of a fresh drug policy must be to boost alcohol and drug cure opportunities at all levels of the criminal justice system (U.S. Department of Justice, 1995).

Treatment-founded drug courts.

Sustained trialing with treatment-based drug courts must be emphasized. It is a potentially influential model for associating the healing/public health system and the criminal justice process. The courts should persist to be developed and examined for their long-term efficiency. The risk of pointlessly broadening the social control net can be minimized using suitable eligibility and screening criterion and complete, clinically based assessment (Kubiak, Arfken, Swartz, & Koch, 2006).

Alcohol and other drug (AOD) treatment.

Accessibility to AOD cure and public health services must be supported at all levels of the criminal justice practice. Consequently, opportunities for effectual treatment interventions within the pretrial duration, probation-monitored treatment, treatment in a community corrections structure, and prison -oriented treatment have to be studied and encouraged. All criminal-justice-founded treatment services must consider the provision of aftercare services to offer healing continuum Community recruitment. Communities can efficiently mobilize to interrupt drug markets and discourage drug users. Numerous case studies have shown the gains of community policing regarding decreasing the size and scale of drug markets (BENSON & RASMUSSEN, 1991).

Disaggregated prevention strategies

Prevention plans must be disaggregated for particular drugs and populations. They have to be implemented from an understanding of the means through which persons acquire information regarding drugs and make decisions concerning their use. The drug epidemics lessons are that awareness about drug usage rules and dangers is spread informally from reliable sources and studied from social experiences; normative adjusts in drug consumption patterns are influenced feebly by legal threats.

Target drug treatment

The high concentration drug use amongst a small section of the population proposes that treatment efforts could be targeted towards them. Scores of these persons are in prison, and their criminality is highly linked to drug issues. Cost arguments singly make prison treatment a basic part of the general strategy for drug control, additionally, the opportunity to decrease criminality jointly with drug problems is a convincing reason for backing inmates’ treatment  (Siegel & Senna, 2009).

Alternatives to incarceration

Citing the call for alleviating overcrowding and emphasize on prison space for aggressive offenders, a number of State legislatures have proposed that penal statutes authorize the sentencing of nonviolent substance offenders to external prison punishments. Expansion of possible alternatives to imprisonment, however, has been subdued by fiscal restraints. Motivations must be introduced to uphold States’ efforts to develop alternatives, for instance supervision programs concerning urinalysis, outpatient and suburban drug treatment, or employment programs (Hancock & Sharp, 2000).

Public opinion has been largely ignored in the structuring of the drug enforcement policy. Public opinion is an important part since they are directly affected by the problem. The criminal justice has knowingly avoided the opinion since it would lead to more sensible solutions in dealing with the drug menace. The public has increasingly voiced its opinion regarding the part they can play in the reduction of the drug use progress but this voice has been overlooked. The public is direct contact with the vice and through community policing they provide crucial Intelligence (McShane & Williams, 1997).

There exist powerful conceptual and practical explanations to spend on communities as a type of drug control, and increasing proof that communities can successfully mobilize to interrupt drug markets and discourage drug users.  The criminal justice requires realizing and integrating the public opinion in their undertakings.


BENSON, B. L., & RASMUSSEN, D. W. (1991). RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN ILLICIT DRUG ENFORCEMENT POLICY AND PROPERTY CRIMES. Contemporary Economic Policy. doi:10.1111/j.1465-7287.1991.tb00354.x

Hancock, B. W., & Sharp, P. M. (2000). Public policy: Crime and criminal justice. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall.

Kubiak, S. P., Arfken, C. L., Swartz, J. A., & Koch, A. L. (2006). Treatment at the front end of the criminal justice continuum: the association between arrest and admission into specialty substance abuse treatment. Substance Abuse Treatment Prevention and Policy. doi:10.1186/1747-597X-1-20

McShane, M. D., & Williams, F. P. (1997). Drug use and drug policy. New York: Garland Pub.

Siegel, L. J., & Senna, J. J. (2009). Essentials of criminal justice. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth Cengage Learning.

U.S. Department of Justice. (1995). Critical Criminal Justice Issues. Retrieved July 18, from https://www.ncjrs.gov/pdffiles/158837.pdf

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