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Criminal justice responses to drug related crime in Scotland

Malloch M & McIvor G (2013) Criminal justice responses to drug related crime in Scotland. International Journal of Drug Policy, 24 (1), pp. 69-77.

This article examines contemporary developments in criminal justice responses to drug related crime. Drawing on evaluations of initiatives which have been introduced in Scotland along with published statistical data, it considers the expansion of drug treatment through the criminal justice system and the implications this has for increasing access to services. Importantly, it considers the potential consequences of implementing 'treatment' requirements, underpinned by potential sanctions for non-compliance, at different stages of the criminal justice process. It is argued that the introduction of interventions at different points in the criminal justice process may have increased access to treatment services, though the extent of engagement with services is called into question, especially where treatment is voluntary or less obviously 'coerced'. Moreover, there is evidence that extending treatment through the criminal justice system may have had the effect of drawing some individuals further into the criminal justice process than would previously have been the case, despite limited evidence of the effectiveness of many such interventions on drug use, associated offending and wider aspects of individuals’ lives.

Criminal justice; coerced treatment; drug policy

International Journal of Drug Policy: Volume 24, Issue 1

Author(s)Malloch, Margaret; McIvor, Gill
Publication date31/01/2013
Publication date online17/07/2012
Date accepted by journal06/06/2012
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