Professor Of Criminal Justice, Temple University
- Drug courts have been able to empirically support drug and criminal rehabilitation in offenders.
In the review, “The Role of Drug Courts In Promoting Desistance and Recovery: A Merging of Therapy and Accountability,” Belenko provides an overview of drug treatment courts and their impact on recovery from drug use as well as reduction in criminal behavior in offenders. There is a high co-concurrence between illegal drug use and involvement as well as other criminal behavior, ranging from property crime to violence. In the current criminal justice system, the resources, attention, and appropriate models needed to devote to reducing drug use in the inmate population are not in place. Belenko offers the use of drug treatment courts, which follows the therapeutic jurisprudence model of justice and aims to solve the individual and societal factors that play a role in drug use. It involves integrating drug therapy and rehabilitation as a dual focus, which allows offenders to work on their drug problems and resolve the criminal charges against them. Belenko argues that drug courts have been able to empirically support drug and criminal rehabilitation in offenders and notes that more research and theory development is needed to be able to scale drug courts in the United States and, potentially, even globally.