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NCJ Number: 227871 Find in a Library
Title: Causal Connection Between Drug Misuse and Crime
Journal: British Journal of Criminology  Volume:49  Issue:4  Dated:July 2009  Pages:513-531
Author(s): Trevor Bennett; Katy Holloway
Date Published: July 2009
Page Count: 19
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United Kingdom
Annotation: This study examined the validity of the taxonomy developed by Paul Goldstein (1985) in explaining the causal connection between drug use and crime across different crime types.
Abstract: Goldstein divided explanations of the drug-crime connection into three models: "economic compulsive" (crime as a means of getting money to support drug use); "psychopharmacological" (drug effects resulting in a change or impairment in cognitive functioning that precipitates criminal behavior); and "systemic" (crime occurs as part of the system of drug distribution and use). The current study draws three primary conclusions. First, Goldstein's taxonomy must be placed in an explanatory hierarchy that shows the relationship between broader social contexts, middle-range explanations, and more detailed mechanisms. This is because the causal connection between drug use and crime is likely to vary by cultural context and perhaps even location. The second conclusion is that theoretical development must be based on empirical evidence. In order to achieve this, more work is needed on the detailed mechanisms that link drug use and crimes. The current study has advanced this effort by identifying some of the subcategories involved; however, larger surveys should be conducted across time and locations. The third conclusion is that study findings support the conclusions drawn in the 2001 forum for researchers sponsored by the U.S. Justice Department's National Institute of Justice (NIJ). One of the forum papers that focused on Goldstein's taxonomy concluded that no single model could explain all drug-related crime and that more attention must be given to the variations in the relationship between different drugs and different crimes, as well as the effects of demographic differences such as gender and ethnicity (MacCoun et al. 2003). The current study interviewed drug-abusing offenders currently serving prison sentences in the United Kingdom. The interviews focused on the role of drug use in the inmates' recent crimes. 2 tables and 28 references
Main Term(s): Criminology
Index Term(s): Crime causes theory; Drug effects; Drug law offenses; Drug offenders; Drug Related Crime; Foreign criminal justice research
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