skip navigation


Register for Latest Research

Stay Informed
Register with NCJRS to receive NCJRS's biweekly e-newsletter JUSTINFO and additional periodic emails from NCJRS and the NCJRS federal sponsors that highlight the latest research published or sponsored by the Office of Justice Programs.

NCJRS Abstract

The document referenced below is part of the NCJRS Virtual Library collection. To conduct further searches of the collection, visit the Virtual Library. See the Obtain Documents page for direction on how to access resources online, via mail, through interlibrary loans, or in a local library.


NCJ Number: 97225 Find in a Library
Title: Crime File: Heroin
Series: NIJ Crime Files
Corporate Author: Police Foundation
United States of America
Date Published: 1984
Sponsoring Agency: National Institute of Justice (NIJ)
Washington, DC 20531
National Institute of Justice/NCJRS
Rockville, MD 20850
Police Foundation
Washington, DC 20036
US Dept of Justice NIJ Pub
Washington, DC 20531
Grant Number: 84-IJ-CX-0031
Sale Source: National Institute of Justice/NCJRS
Audiovisual Sales
Box 6000, Dept F
Rockville, MD 20850
United States of America
Document: PDF (Study Guide)|Video (28:52)
Format: Video (Online)
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This video cassette, number 19 in the Crime File series, portrays a panel discussion of the advantages and disadvantages of criminalizing heroin use, with particular attention to contrasting the British and American systems for controlling heroin use.
Abstract: Panelist John Kaplan, visiting law professor at Harvard University, argues for the criminalization of heroin trafficking and use, because heroin addiction has such debilitating social consequences. He views law enforcement as an effective means for maintaining heroin supply and demand at manageable levels. He believes that the criminalization of heroin use facilitates addicts' seeking treatment because of the criminal justice system's imposition of sanctions for continued addiction. Panelist Edward Dennis, Jr., U.S. Attorney for Philadelphia, Pa., does not give much credence to the argument that the high price of heroin fostered by its criminalization presses addicts into property crime to support their habits. He states there is no evidence that addicts who commit crimes would be any less acquisitive were they not addicts. Dennis also discusses the appropriate drug law enforcement focus of various jurisdiction -- Federal, State, and local. Panelist Arnold Trebach, professor at American University, describes the decriminalized system for medically dispensing heroin through licensed physicians in Great Britain. He argues that this system is to be preferred, because it does not stigmatize addicts and eliminates the violence associated with the drug 'war' between law enforcement officials and drug traffickers. Dennis and Kaplan argue that England's system would create different law enforcement problems and increase the number of heroin addicts and attendant social problems.
Index Term(s): Decriminalization; Drug law enforcement; Drug Related Crime; Great Britain/United Kingdom; Heroin; Heroin maintenance; Videotapes
Note: Videocassette (3/4 inch, Beta, and, VHS), 28 minutes in length, color.
To cite this abstract, use the following link:

*A link to the full-text document is provided whenever possible. For documents not available online, a link to the publisher's website is provided. Tell us how you use the NCJRS Library and Abstracts Database - send us your feedback.