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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 63048 Find in a Library
Title: DETOXICATION ALTERNATIVE TO THE HANDLING OF PUBLIC INEBRIATES - THE ONTARIO EXPERIENCE - CANADA
Journal: JOURNAL OF STUDIES ON ALCOHOL  Volume:40  Issue:3  Dated:(MARCH 1979)  Pages:196-210
Author(s): H M ANNIS
Corporate Author: Rutgers University
Ctr of Alcohol Studies
United States of America
Date Published: 1979
Page Count: 15
Sponsoring Agency: Rutgers University
New Brunswick, NJ 08903
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: A REVIEW OF THE CANADIAN EXPERIENCE IN DEVELOPING DETOXIFICATION PROGRAMS IN ONTARIO TO REPLACE PROSECUTION OF PUBLIC INEBRIANTS HAS REVEALED SOME DIFFICULTIES.
Abstract: DETOXIFICATION PROGRAMS SHOULD (1) RELEASE THE CRIMINAL STIGMA WHICH MAY BLOCK AN INEBRIANT'S REHABILITATION, (2) RELIEVE THE BURDEN ON CRIMINAL JUSTICE SYSTEMS, (3) PROVIDE BETTER CONDITIONS AND PROMPT MEDICAL ATTENTION, AND (4) ENCOURAGE LONG-RANGE REHABILITATION OF INEBRIANTS. ALTHOUGH LIFE-LONG DRUNKS WILL NOT BE CHANGED BY A FEW DAYS IN A DETOXIFICATION CENTER, INITIATION OF REHABILITATION IS DEEMED IMPORTANT FOR DETOXIFICATION PROGRAMS TO SUCCEED. IN ONTARIO IN THE EARLY 1970'S, DETOXIFICATION CENTERS WERE ESTABLISHED IN ALL JUDICIAL DISTRICTS IN WHICH ARRESTS FOR PUBLIC INEBRIATION EXCEEDED 1,000 PER YEAR. ALTHOUGH PUBLIC INEBRIATION REMAINED A CRIME, POLICE COULD SEND INEBRIANTS TO THE CENTERS RATHER THAN ARRESTING THEM. HOWEVER, DETOXIFICATION CENTERS FOUND THEMSELVES ADMITTING A MUCH WIDER POPULATION THAN CHRONIC PUBLIC OR SKID-ROW ALCOHOLICS; ONLY 40 PERCENT WERE REFERRED BY THE POLICE. OVERALL, SOME COMMUNITIES WITH DETOXIFICATION CENTERS REPORT A DECREASE IN ARRESTS OF PUBLIC INEBRIANTS WHILE OTHERS REPORT AN INCREASE. ALTHOUGH DETOXIFICATION PROGRAMS ARE FOLLOWED BY GREATER LENIENCY TOWARD DRUNKS BY POLICE AND COURTS, FEWER OR SHORTER JAIL SENTENCES ALLOW PUBLIC DRUNKS TO REMAIN AT LARGE AND MORE OFTEN VULNERABLE TO ARREST. SHORTAGES OF DETOXIFICATION FACILITIES ALSO LEAVE POLICE WITH NO CHOICE BUT TO ARREST THE INEBRIANT IN MANY CASES. ALTHOUGH ONTARIO NOW EXPERIENCES PARTIAL DECRIMINALIZATION OF DRUNKENNESS, UNIFORM DECRIMINALIZATION IS NEEDED TO RECTIFY DISCREPANCIES IN THE WAY OFFENDERS ARE HANDLED. OFFENDERS READMITTED TO DETOXIFICATION CENTERS ARE GENERALLY SKID-ROW TYPES WITHOUT STABLE FAMILY TIES, AND MANY OF THESE DO NOT COOPERATE IN LONG-TERM REHABILITATION REFERRALS. REFERENCES AND FOOTNOTES ARE INCLUDED.
Index Term(s): Adult offenders; Alcohol detoxification; Alcoholism; Alcoholism treatment programs; Alternatives to institutionalization; Decriminalization; Ontario
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http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=63048

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