Drug offense recidivism continues to plague our overburdened criminal justice system. Increases in sentencing and incarceration rates have done little to mitigate the problem. Given the unique nature of chemical addiction, traditional penal measures have been ineffective in deterring repeat offenders. Noting the failure of incarceration, this Note proposes that treatment and rehabilitation of drug offenders are more appropriate means of reducing illegal drug use. More specifically, this Note considers as models Arizona and California Acts that mandate substituting court-supervised drug treatment and education programs for incarceration. In advancing the rehabilitative ideal, these Acts have been more successful than previous attempts at creating drug treatment courts because they limit the judicial and prosecutorial discretion that led to arbitrary and unfair decision-making.
Mandating Effective Treatment for Drug Offenders,
53 Hastings L.J. 1217
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