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NCJ Number: 167473 Add to Shopping cart Find in a Library
Title: Should Corrections Treat or Punish Substance-Abusing Criminals?
Journal: Federal Probation  Volume:60  Issue:3  Dated:(September 1996)  Pages:18-23
Author(s): S Torres
Date Published: 1996
Page Count: 6
Sponsoring Agency: NCJRS Photocopy Services
Rockville, MD 20849-6000
Sale Source: NCJRS Photocopy Services
Box 6000
Rockville, MD 20849-6000
United States of America
Type: Issue Overview
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This article evaluates the medical model and alternative approaches to dealing with substance-abusing criminals.
Abstract: The medical model is based on the belief that the major goal of corrections should be treatment of criminal offenders. This view regards substance abuse and criminal behavior as disorders or pathological conditions that need to be treated and cured. However, research data suggest that substance abuse is most appropriately considered a maladaptive behavior, not a disease, and that it responds favorably to a structured program which sets precise limits and is based on social learning principles. The therapeutic community (TC) is one such approach that has had promising results. The traditional TC is an inpatient program with highly structured activities. It fosters a multistage process in which participants are evaluated by their changes in attitude and behavior. Followup studies of prison-based therapeutic communities provide evidence that they can produce reductions in recidivism rates for offenders with histories of serious drug use. The medical model, which includes encouraging, listening to, and empathizing with clients in an attempt to convince them to get help, is no substitute for setting firm limits and taking decisive action. References
Main Term(s): Corrections
Index Term(s): Behavior modification; Controlled Substances; Criminology theory evaluation; Custody vs treatment conflict; Drug treatment programs; Group therapy; Holistic therapy; Medical model of offender treatment; Treatment intervention model; Treatment/Therapeutic Community
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