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The drugs-crime wars: Past, present and future directions in theory, policy and program interventions.

Terry-McElrath, Yvonne
June 4, 2015

Source: (2001) Research Paper Series, No. 14. Washington, DC: National Institute of Justice.

In the substantial body of literature investigating the relationship between drug use and crime, a causal link between the two behaviors has not been established, yet a high correlation between them has been confirmed. It has also been observed in the literature that the relationship between drug use and crime exists within a framework of societal policies ranging from regulated commercial approaches to strict prohibition. Against this background, the authors of this research paper propose that application of theoretical models such as “ecosystems theoryâ€? and “social capitalâ€? would improve understanding of the nature and complexity of the relationship. Reviewing programmatic approaches to break the drugs-crime relationship, the authors indicate that the most successful approaches include a comprehensive range of services from assessment, implementation of services to meet assessed needs, and aftercare with a framework of graduated sanctions and thorough case management. The authors then identify directions for future research to evaluate state policies and the effectiveness of specific treatment program elements.


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