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NCJ Number: 162923 Find in a Library
Title: Judicial Considerations When Sentencing Pregnant Substance Users
Journal: Judges' Journal  Volume:35  Issue:2  Dated:(Spring 1996)  Pages:3-9,45-53
Author(s): P Hora; B Becker
Date Published: 1996
Page Count: 16
Type: Survey
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: Judges face difficult questions in cases involving pregnant drug abusers, and it is in each judge's best interest to make sentencing decisions based on sound jurisprudence that is not susceptible to challenge.
Abstract: An increasing number of drug-addicted women of childbearing age are defendants and prisoners. In recent years, women arrested on drug charges have constituted the fastest growing population in the criminal justice system. Moreover, incarcerated women have higher drug use rates than incarcerated men. Drug addiction is just one of several problems faced by many female offenders. Many women have been sexually abused prior to their incarceration, have parents or guardians who abuse drugs, and have no job or education. Judges are particularly concerned about female offenders who are pregnant and drug-dependent, and some judges translate this concern into harsh sentences. Legal, medical, and public policy information is provided to encourage well-informed and effective judicial responses to the problem of pregnant and drug-dependent female defendants. The emergence of drug treatment courts, halfway houses and other forms of alternative sentencing, and model drug treatment programs is addressed. Both correctional facility-based and community-based drug treatment programs are described, along with specific drug treatment programs in Oregon and Minnesota. The issue of whether to treat, incarcerate, or use both options is considered. An alcohol and drug self-test and a sentencing checklist for female offenders are included. 76 references
Main Term(s): Courts
Index Term(s): Corrections; Drug abuse; Drug dependence; Drug treatment programs; Female inmates; Female offenders; Inmate drug treatment; Judicial decisions; Juveniles; Minnesota; Oregon; Pregnant drug abusers; Pregnant offenders; Sentencing factors
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