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De Ruyver, B., Ponsaers, P. , Lemaitre, A., Macquet, C., De Wree, E., Hodeige, R., Pieters, T., Cammaert, F., Sohier, C. (2007). Effecten van alternatieve afhandeling voor druggebruikers - Effets des mesures alternatives pour les consommateurs de drogues, Reeks Wetenschap en Maatschappij, Federaal Wetenschapsbeleid, Gent: Academia Press, pp. 319.

Authors:

Abstract

as a one year project, but after the first year the decision was taken to prolong the research in order to allow for a better foundation of the results. The second part of the research started 1 December 2005 and the project was concluded on 30 November 2006 I. OBJECTIVES The current study is aimed at the different alternative sanctions and measures that exist on the three levels of the criminal justice system. These alternative sanctions and measures can be applied to a specific target group, namely drug users. The objective of the current study was to evaluate the application of these measures and sanctions for drug users. The first part of the evaluation aimed at measuring the effects alternative sanctions and measures generate for drug users. This effect study was based on a pre post design, in which judicial files served as the main data sources for retrieving data concerning criminal activity and living circumstances of the drug users. The second part of the evaluation consisted of a qualitative assessment of the application and execution of alternative measures and sanctions. Face-to-face interviews were held with practitioners and with drug users on whom an alternative measure or sanction was imposed. Based on the two parts of the evaluation, two questions can thus be answered: ▪ What are the effects of alternative measures and sanctions regarding recidivism and improvement in several life spheres? (Part II of this document) ▪ How do relevant actors and drug users look upon alternative measures and sanctions and which factors play a role in their attitudes? (Part III of this document) II. EFFECT STUDY A. Introduction In the Belgian social, academic and policy context, the application of alternative sanctions and measures for drug users is increasingly stimulated. Belgian knowledge concerning the effectiveness of alternative measures and sanctions, however, is still largely based upon American effect studies. In the United States, effect studies gain in importance, whereas Europe lags behind. Effect studies are rarely conducted in Europe and even for meta-analyses European authors are thus forced to rely mainly on American research results. Every effect study that is conducted in Europe thus adds to the knowledge that is so badly needed in this field. The current research is aimed at measuring effects of alternative measures and sanctions [ 1 ] for drug users. The objective of the research is to examine whether alternative measures and sanctions generate effects, and if so, what is the nature of these effects.
1
FRUITLESS EFFORTS OR MIRACLE SOLUTION?
EFFECTS OF ALTERNATIVE MEASURES FOR DRUG USERS
This research is a part of the Research programme in support of the Belgian Federal Drugs Policy
Note and was funded by the Federal Science Policy. The research started in 2004 (1 November
2004 -30 September 2005) as a one year project, but after the first year the decision was taken to
prolong the research in order to allow for a better foundation of the results. The second part of the
research started 1 December 2005 and the project was concluded on 30 November 2006
I. OBJECTIVES
The current study is aimed at the different alternative sanctions and measures that exist on the
three levels of the criminal justice system. These alternative sanctions and measures can be
applied to a specific target group, namely drug users. The objective of the current study was to
evaluate the application of these measures and sanctions for drug users. The first part of the
evaluation aimed at measuring the effects alternative sanctions and measures generate for drug
users. This effect study was based on a pre post design, in which judicial files served as the main
data sources for retrieving data concerning criminal activity and living circumstances of the drug
users. The second part of the evaluation consisted of a qualitative assessment of the application
and execution of alternative measures and sanctions. Face-to-face interviews were held with
practitioners and with drug users on whom an alternative measure or sanction was imposed.
Based on the two parts of the evaluation, two questions can thus be answered:
What are the effects of alternative measures and sanctions regarding recidivism and
improvement in several life spheres? (Part II of this document)
How do relevant actors and drug users look upon alternative measures and sanctions and
which factors play a role in their attitudes? (Part III of this document)
II. EFFECT STUDY
A. Introduction
In the Belgian social, academic and policy context, the application of alternative sanctions and
measures for drug users is increasingly stimulated. Belgian knowledge concerning the
effectiveness of alternative measures and sanctions, however, is still largely based upon American
effect studies. In the United States, effect studies gain in importance, whereas Europe lags behind.
Effect studies are rarely conducted in Europe and even for meta-analyses European authors are
thus forced to rely mainly on American research results. Every effect study that is conducted in
Europe thus adds to the knowledge that is so badly needed in this field. The current research is
aimed at measuring effects of alternative measures and sanctions [
1
] for drug users. The objective
of the research is to examine whether alternative measures and sanctions generate effects, and if
so, what is the nature of these effects.
2
B. Method
Measurement
The effects examined in the current study concern recidivism and progress in several life spheres.
The methods and techniques used in this study are built along the lines set out in previous studies.
Effect evaluations of judicial interventions generally focus on recidivism. Arrest and reconviction
rates are the most commonly used indicators for the prevalence of recidivism,[
2
] although
European studies tend to restrict their operationalisation of recidivism to reconviction rates.[
3
] In
this study, however, we did attempt to find a European counterpart for arrest rates. The
operationalisation “arrest rate” cannot simply be borrowed from American literature, but instead
has to be adapted to the Western-European judicial registration. We opted for criminal charge as a
counterpart for arrest, considering the fact that this is the basis of registered crime in Belgium.[
4
]
Effect evaluations of treatment interventions more often integrate progress in several life spheres
in their design. However, measuring progress in life spheres is a difficult task. The main difficulty
is to find criteria that measure progress, without them being too subjective or morally coloured by
the researcher. As a consequence, we can see that a lot of differences exist in the way this
progress is measured in several studies.[
5
] We based our choice of the life spheres and the criteria
for improvement mainly on the EuropASI-instrument, which is used as an assessment instrument
for clients of drug treatment services.[
6
] We thus studied drug use, financial situation, housing,
social and family relationships and leisure time. For each of these life spheres we defined an
ultimate goal, which is reached when there is no more need for help or treatment.
Design and data sources
The design of this study comprises a pre and post measurement of the criminal activity of 565
research subjects, and of their situation in relevant life domains. Regarding recidivism, the pre
measurement concerns the calculation of rates of criminal charges and convictions (number per
year) before the judicial alternative was granted. For the post measurement the same rates are
calculated, but in this case for the period after the judicial alternative was granted. The
calculation of these rates is based on criminal record data, gathered from criminal courts. Our
results are thus only based on registered crime, while not necessarily all offences committed by
the research subjects are known to the police. This so-called dark number is a much described
limitation of officially registered crime, which has to be considered in the interpretation of the
results. The measurement of progress in relevant life spheres comprises a pre and post
measurement as well. The situation in these life spheres was studied in judicial files (of the
prosecutor’s office and of judicial assistants). Based on these files the researcher assessed the
situation in the life spheres before and after the judicial alternative was granted, on the basis of
the grid shown in Figure 1.
3
Figure 1 Overview of the life spheres included in the current study
Life sphere
Situation
Drug use
No drug use (anymore)
Limited or controlled use
Problematic use, but tackling the drug problem (through contact with drug
treatment services)
Problematic use without help or contact with drug treatment services
Financial situation
Fixed employment [1]/ regular income from professional activities
Temporary employment
Unemployment but allowance[1] or financial support
Illegal income (stemming from offences)
Housing
Fixed (independent) residence
Temporary residence (shelter, treatment service, staying with friends etc)
Homelessness
Social and family
relationships
Predominant (supportive) social contacts with non-drug users
Mixed contacts: both contacts with non-users and contacts with users
Predominant contacts with drug users
Free time
Meaningful or structured leisure activities (hobby’s, family etc)
No structured or meaningful leisure activities
For every type of alternative sanction or measure, an overview of judicial files was requested
from the prosecutor’s office or at the justice houses in three judicial districts. The reference years
of the judicial files were 1999 and 2001. The reference years are thus quite recent while still
allowing for a considerable follow-up period. From the lists that were provided by the justice
authorities, probability samples were drawn for each modality.[
7
]
In order to determine whether a causal relationship exists between two variables (e.g. an
alternative sanction and recidivism), the criteria for methodological quality are high.[
8
] Mostly,
the Maryland Scientific Methods (MSM) Scale, a five level scale of research designs, is used as
reference point for the identification of effect studies of good methodological quality. Only based
on a (quasi-)experimental design, level three to five of the MSM Scale, can the conclusion be
drawn that a reduction in recidivism is caused by the alternative sanction. In a quasi-experimental
design recidivism would be measured before and after the intervention (i.e. the judicial
alternative) in experimental and comparable control conditions.[
9
] Our study does however not
reach this methodological standard. In fact, our study corresponds to the second level of the MSM
Scale, which implies the measurement of recidivism before and after the alternative
measure/sanction, but without a comparable control condition. Finding a control condition in the
evaluation of judicial alternatives is no sinecure:[
10
] only a very precise, and thus time-
consuming, matching of the research units can lead to a valid control group.[
11
] With regard to
alternative sanctioning, it is clear, however, that those who are granted a judicial alternative are a
selected group, and are not comparable to those who are adjudicated the traditional way.
The control condition that is present in a quasi-experimental design serves as a means to rule out
other factors, such as “trends” [
12
], “regression to the mean” [
13
], spontaneous recovery [
14
] etc
that may influence the results. The fact that we did not make use of a control group thus implies
that we cannot abstract from influencing factors [
15
] and that have to bear in mind that the results
we find cannot fully be attributed to the intervention studied. We did however attempt to
incorporate sufficient safeguards to sustain the results. As mentioned, the design of our study
comprises a pre and post measurement. Every research subject can thus be compared to oneself,
at two moments in time. [
16
] The results of our study were also compared to other relevant
4
research in this domain. Based on the comparison with other studies we can therefore find out
whether our results are in line with other studies or not. Parallelism between the current study and
previous literature would thus indicate that support is found for the research results of the current
study and that the expectations based on foreign studies also apply in the Belgian context.
C. Results
The results of this study concern the effectiveness of alternative measures for drug users. The
objective was to find out to what extent these persons recidivate and whether progress occurs in
the various spheres of life examined.
THE SAMPLE
We performed analyses on a sample of 565 individuals who were sentenced to one or other
modality of alternative sanctioning. The research included nine modalities of alternative
measures, which were fairly evenly spread over the various levels in the criminal justice system
(prosecution, sentencing, execution of sentences). The average age of the research subjects was
28 years, and the large majority were men (88,3%). Various types of narcotics were used by the
research subjects, with cannabis and heroin heading the list. Most research subjects consumed
more than one product. The majority of the research subjects were granted the judicial alternative
because of possessing or selling narcotics (i.e drug offences: 58,2%). Just over one third had
committed property offences or violent crime (37,1%).
Figure 2 Number of research subjects per modality
Different types of judicial alternatives were integrated in this study (cf. Figure 2). We therefore
cannot pass over the fact that the composition of the research sample is rather heterogeneous.
Differences exist in the profiles of the research subjects according to the judicial alternative that
was granted to them. Alternatives at the prosecutor’s level were granted to the youngest research
subjects, who had committed less serious offences (e.g. possession of marihuana). Those who
Type of judicial alternative
Frequency
Percent
Transaction
60
10,6
Mediation
44
7,8
Praetorian probation
7
1,2
Conditional discharge
57
10,1
Probation order without conviction
93
16,5
Probation order with delay
of the execution of the sentence
116
20,5
Provisional release
62
11,0
Conditional release
91
16,1
Electronic monitoring
35
6,2
Total
565
100,0
5
were granted probation orders often had not only possessed drugs, but had also sold it. The
detected use was no longer limited to (mainly) marihuana, but also encompassed, inter alia, XTC,
cocaine and heroin. The research subjects who were granted an alternative for a prison sentence
are somewhat older drug users in comparison with the above measures. Mostly, they had
committed property and violent offences, and used heroin or cocaine.
In order to take into account these differences in profiles, we present the general results and the
results per level of the criminal justice system.
PREVALENCE OF RECIDIVISM
Research subjects were followed up during a five year period, in order to determine whether they
had recidivated or not. The prevalence of recidivism (= having a new criminal charge) amounts to
71,7%. However, not every criminal charge was followed by a conviction. Only 37,2% of the
research subjects were reconvicted. This percentage of new convictions is therefore far lower than
the prevalence of new criminal charges. The prevalence of recidivism differs according to the
level of the criminal justice system at which the judicial alternative was granted (see figure 3).
Those who were granted a judicial alternative at the level of the execution of sentences more
often had a new criminal charge afterwards (81,9%) than those who were granted an alternative at
the level of sentencing (70,0%). At their turn, they reoffended more than those who were granted
an alternative at the level of prosecution (57,7%). Regarding reconvictions as well, we can see
that the prevalence increases as the judicial alternative is granted at a higher level of settlement
(see figure 4).
Figure 3 Differences in prevalence of new criminal charges according to level of settlement
Level of settlement
Total
Sample
Investigation and
prosecution[17]
Sentencing
Execution of
sentences
64
57,7%
142
70,0%
145
81,9%
390
71,7%
47
42,3%
61
30%
32
18,1%
154
28,3%
111
100,0%
200
100,0%
176
100,0%
544
100,0%
* Chi Square = 20,103; df= 2; p < 0,001
Figure 4 Differences in prevalence of reconvictions according to level of settlement
Level of settlement
Total sample
Investigation and
prosecution[18]
Sentencing
Execution of
sentences
25
22,5%
73
36,3%
80
45,7%
200
37,2%
86
77,5%
128
63,7%
95
54,3%
338
62,8%
111
100%
201
100%
175
100%
538
100%
* Chi Square = 15,760; df= 2; p < 0,001
RATES OF CRIMINAL CHARGES AND CONVICTIONS
Evolutions in criminal activity can be measured by calculating rates of criminal charges and
convictions. We compare the rate (number per year) of criminal charges and convictions prior to
the judicial alternative with the rate afterwards.[
19
] Figure 5 shows that the average rate of
criminal charges decreases to about half of its original value. Whereas the research subjects on
average were subjected to more than two criminal charges per year before the alternative was
granted, this was reduced to only one afterwards. The research subjects thus have less criminal
6
charges after the alternative was granted. This is true for the alternatives at every level of the
criminal justice system: the average rate of criminal charges is lower after the alternative was
granted than prior to it. This reduction is significant (p<0,001). At the level of prosecution, the
rate was reduced from 1,66 to 0,51 (p<0,05). At the level of sentencing the rate decreased from
2,53 before to 1,11 afterwards (p<0,001). At the level of execution of sentences the reduction
goes from 2,68 to 1,44. (p<0,001)
Figure 5 Rates of criminal charges before and after the judicial alternative
N
Minimum
Maximum
Mean
Std. Deviation
Rate of charges Before
466
0
13
2,41
1,920
Rate of charges After
535
0
12
1,09
1,690
Figure 6 Rates of convictions before and after the judicial alternative
N
Minimum
Maximum
Mean
Std. Deviation
Rate of convictions Before
502
0
9
,75
,981
Rate of convictions After
531
0
6
,24
,557
The same rates can be calculated with regard to the number of convictions (see Figure 6). A first
rate reflects the number of convictions on a yearly basis before the alternative was granted, a
second rate reflects this number after the alternative was granted. If we compare both rates, we
see that there is a significant reduction in the average rate (p<0,001). The reduction in the average
rate is found for alternatives at every level of the criminal justice system. At the level of
investigation and prosecution, there is a reduction from 0,19 to 0,11 (p<0,01); at the level of
sentencing from 0,85 to 0,25 (p<0,001); and at the level of execution of sentences from 1,04 to
0,33. (p<0,05)
The reduction in the rates of criminal charges and convictions also takes place when the rates are
calculated only for the subgroup of recidivists. The criminal charges are down from 2,71 before
to 1,54 after (p<0,001); convictions decrease from 0,89 to 0,34 (p<0,001).
NATURE OF THE CRIMINAL CHARGES
In the current study we gave attention to three specific categories of offences, namely drug
offences (infringements of the drug laws), property offences and violent offences. Before the
alternative was granted, 504 research subjects had been charged with offences against the drug
laws, 336 with property offences and 306 with violent offences. After the alternative was granted,
this picture changes: 238 had a charge for drug offences (significant reduction p<0,01), 202 for
property offences (p<0,001) and 219 for violent offences (p<0,001). This means that, although
every research subject is a drug user, only 45% of these persons got charged with drug offences
again. (see figure 7)
7
Figure 7 Criminal charges before and after the judicial alternative
0
20
40
60
80
100
% research
subjects
Drug offences Property Violence
Nature charge
Nature of the criminal charges
Before
After
A reduction is achieved in the subgroup of recidivists as well. Prior to the alternative 96% of the
recidivists committed drug offences versus 61% afterwards; 72% committed property offences
before versus 53% afterwards; and 68% committed violent offences before versus 57%
afterwards. The reduction in drug offences is significant (p<0,05), just as the reductions in
property and violent offences (p<0,001). So, even if only the recidivists are taken into account,
significant reductions occur in the three types of offences after the judicial alternative was
granted.
PROGRESS IN LIFE SPHERES
In the judicial files (in particular the reports of the judicial assistants) information was obtained
concerning the situation in different life spheres. The situation in the life spheres before and after
the alternative was assessed. The research subjects experience a progress in the life spheres
studied after the judicial alternative is granted. The percentage of research subjects who use in a
non-problematic way, who have a regular job, fixed residence, predominantly supportive contacts
with non-users and a meaningful occupation of their leisure time is higher at the end of the
alternative than at the beginning (see figure 8). Different steps are thus taken that benefit their
reintegration.
8
Figure 8 Progress in life spheres
0
10
20
30
40
50
60
70
80
No problematic
use Regular job Fixed
residence Non-user
contacts Leisure time
occupation
Before After
The progress in life spheres parallels the reduction in criminal charges. Those who do not use
problematically at the end of the follow-up period are also those that have been charged less. The
same holds true for those having a regular job and fixed residence: they reoffended less than those
who had not. (see Figure 9)
Figure 9 Progress in life spheres and recidivism
Life spheres:
situation at the end of the alternative
New charge
No new charge
Total
Total
71,7%
28,3%
100%
Drug use***
- No (problematic) use
64,9%
35,1%
100%
- Problematic use
87,9%
12,1%
100%
Financial situation***
- Fixed employment
60,8%
39,2%
100%
- No fixed employment
78,6%
21,4%
100%
Housing**
- Fixed residence
69,6%
30,4%
100%
- No fixed residence
84%
16%
100%
Family and social relationships (n.s.)
- Predominant contacts with non-users
69%
31%
100%
- Contacts with userss
77,9%
22,1%
100%
Leisure time (n.s.)
- Occupied (meaningful/structured)
73,8%
26,3%
100%
- Not occupied
80,4%
19,6%
100%
** p<0,01; *** p< 0,001
9
D. Discussion
As shown in the results, the prevalence of recidivism after a judicial alternative was granted to
drug users was considerable. However, studies examining prevalence of recidivism often find
high percentages. For example, Zanis studied persons who were referred to treatment services via
“early parole”. He found that 22% of the research subjects were reconvicted within 24 months,
compared to 34% of the control group (parolees who had not been referred to treatment).[
20
] In a
study examining treatment in prison a relatively high prevalence of recidivism was found as well.
After treatment in prison, it appears that 58% of the graduated was rearrested and 79% relapsed
into drug use in a follow-up period of five years.[
21
] In a Swedish study, Bishop examined the
effects of treatment after imprisonment: the results showed that 64% of those who completed
treatment committed a new offence within three years following completion of the treatment. A
UK Home Office research found that 86% of the persons who were granted a Drug Treatment and
Testing Order, were reconvicted within a follow-up period of two years. Thus high prevalence of
recidivism thus is not out of line with results of other studies. The fact that the percentages are so
high, makes people question the effectiveness of alternative measures for drug users. Although
the percentage of research subjects again charged with an offence is quite high, it should be taken
into account that this just reflects a lower limit: it shows how many people succeeded in
achieving the ideal situation, i.e. no new charge. In the current study, almost 30% of the research
subjects did not have a new charge filed against them after their judicial alternative. More than
60% did not incur a new conviction. This dichotomous measurement of prevalence, however,
passes over the slighter improvements in criminal activity that may occur.
Studying rates of criminal charges and convictions may put the high prevalence of recidivism into
perspective. In the current study, rates of criminal charges and conviction rates were lower after
the alternative was imposed than prior to it. This means that even if the research subjects
recidivate the number of charges per year decreases, as does the number of convictions per
year. Considerable progress could also be observed in the current study as regards the nature of
the offences. Only 45% of the sample (or 61% of the recidivists) had a new charge for
infringements of drug legislation although all research subjects are drug users. Even if account
is only taken of the recidivists, it appears that a lower percentage of the research subjects commit
infringements of drug legislation, property offences and violent crime after sanctioning than prior
to it. The reduction in these offences is important, as it concerns those crime categories that have
been described in literature as offences that are possibly drug-related (cf. consensual, property
offences and expressive criminality).
In summary, sufficient arguments are found to support the link between alternative measures for
drug users and recidivism reduction: (i) More than 60% of the research subjects do not incur a
new conviction; (ii) If the average rate of charges and of convictions of the research subjects prior
to the alternative measures is compared with both these rates after the alternative measures, we
see that there is a significant decrease. (iii) There is a reduction of infringements of the drug
legislation, property offences and violent crime. Even if there is no certainty that these successes
can be ascribed to alternative sanctions (because of the absence of a control group), it is still a
fact that the alternative sanctions allowed for these developments in a way that is far less
interventionist and harmful than a prison sentence. The recidivism reducing effects of alternative
measures were also shown convincingly in other studies. In a research conducted by MacKenzie,
for example, a self report was held among probationers. They were asked to compare their
activities prior to the probation order with those after their arrest and the start of the probation
period. The interviews were held shortly after the start of the probation period, and again after a
period of six months. In the interviews it became clear that the average level of criminal activity
and drug use was lower after arrest and during the probation period than previous to the arrest.
10
Other research also found that probation leads to a substantial reduction in criminal behaviour and
drug use. [
22
]
Moreover, it is shown that alternative measures have better results than traditional ones. In
American studies regarding effectiveness of drug courts [
23
] the results are generally similar:
clients of the drug court programs have lower recidivism rates than those whose case was
adjudicated the traditional way.[
24
] Spohn observed that 42,1% of the drug court participants
recidivated, compared to 60,8% of the research subjects with a traditional sanction. Comparable
results (drug court participants have lower levels of recidivism) are found in eight out of nine
studies regarding effectiveness of drug courts.[
25
] Anyway, it is clear that drug using delinquents
who receive some kind of treatment perform better than those who do not participate in
treatment.[
26
]
Finally, there is also an improvement in virtually every life sphere of the research subjects. The
percentage of individuals using drugs in a non-problematic way and having a steady job and
permanent housing increases. More people appear to succeed in surrounding themselves with
people who support them (in a drug-free life) and in finding activities for their leisure time.
Improvements in the field of drug use, social and familial relationships and leisure-time activities
are the most pronounced. In the context of alternative sanctions, various steps are thus taken that
benefit the re-integration of the person involved. Kyvsgaard examined progress in life spheres
based on a subjective evaluation by the persons concerned. In this Danish study, research subjects
were asked whether they had received the help they needed during the follow-up period. 54% felt
helped concerning drug problems; 47% concerning their work situation; 46% concerning leisure
time activities; 44% concerning social and family relationships; and 31% concerning housing.
These research findings support the conclusion that alternative measures contribute to the social
capital.[
27
]
In addition, we observed a strong association between the effects regarding progress in life
spheres and recidivism. Research subjects who do well as regards drugs, work and housing at the
end of their alternative and reach the 'desired' situation[
28
] recidivate less often. The finding of the
current study that the reduction in recidivism parallels the improvement in the life spheres has an
important consequence. If the recidivism reduction would not be associated with the progress in
life spheres, this would mean that the reduction in recidivism would most probably stem from the
deterring effect of the alternative measure. Rational choice theories indeed presume that less
crime will be committed if the costs exceed the benefits. Judicial alternatives are supposed to
increase the costs, as these alternatives increase the chances that new crimes are detected. If
recidivism reduction would stem from deterrence, the effects of judicial alternatives for drug
users would be short-term: the offender commits less crime, because he is deterred by the higher
costs that exist during the period of supervision. When the supervision period ends, the offender
can return to his previous level of offending.[
29
] In the current research, however, we find that the
reduction in recidivism goes together with the establishment of social bonds. A body of research
has already shown that societal bonds have an impact on criminal behaviour.[
30
] The societal
bonds of offenders often are weak. When offenders establish these bonds, however, chances
increase that their lives will change drastically. If societal bonds (work, housing, family and
social relationships) are intensified through the follow-up of a judicial alternative, informal social
controls that are necessary for desistance of crime are stimulated. Especially the circumstances of
having a partner (or broader: good family relationships) and being in employment induce a
reduction in criminal behaviour.[
31
] The establishment of these bonds can thus serve as a turning
point that initiates positive changes.[
32
]
11
E. Conclusion
The present study comprises a measurement of effect based on 565 judicial files. The objective
was to measure effects of judicial alternatives on recidivism and life spheres. In general, the
results can be considered moderately positive. The question asked in the title of this article cannot
be answered in a straightforward manner. Judicial alternatives for drug users cannot be
considered fruitless efforts nor miracle solutions. As is often the case, we have to adopt a middle
course: it is clear that miracles cannot be expected from the application of alternative measures to
drug users, but there is no need for pessimism either. Even though the prevalence of recidivism is
high, literature shows that this is not out of line with other studies. Besides, it is beyond doubt
that there is a reduction in recidivism after a judicial alternative is granted. On average, the
research subjects incur less criminal charges and convictions after the judicial alternative is
granted than prior to it. Also there is a decrease in the consensual drug related crime, property
crime and violent crime committed by research subjects (expressive and acquisitive crime). This
goes together with a remarkable progress in life spheres: research subjects use less drugs and
use it in a less problematic way have more supportive family and social relationships and their
leisure time is occupied. Regarding their work situation there is a progress as well, but less
pronounced. The association found between recidivism reduction and life spheres is important.
Progress in the abovementioned life spheres supports the positive evolution regarding recidivism
reduction. The perspectives are thus promising, as chances are higher that changes will last
longer. From this perspective, a judicial alternative is possibly a life event that sparks important
changes. [
33
]
III. WHAT ARE THE ATTITUDES OF INTERVIEWED STAKEHOLDERS AND
DRUG USERS TOWARDS JUDICIAL ALTERNATIVES?
A. Introduction
Next to the ‘objective’ evaluation of alternative measures and sanctions, in which the effects
regarding recidivism and living circumstances were measured, the research also comprised a
‘subjective’ evaluation part. In the qualitative assessment of alternative measures and sanctions,
stakeholders (magistrates, judicial assistants and social workers) and drug users were asked for
their attitudes towards these sanctions and the factors that influence them in their convictions
and beliefs. The general objective of this assessment was to find out which level of support exists
for the application of judicial measures and sanctions and which elements in the application and
execution of alternative measures and sanctions leave some room for improvement.
B. Methods
The interviewees were asked about their attitudes, and the elements t hat play a role in them, in
semi-structured face-to-face interviews.
34
A semi-structured interview allows for the interviewee
to express himself in a free manner, but the use of the questionnaire guarantees that all
necessary information is obtained.
35
The research was held in three judicial districts (Gent, Liège and Leuven). The three districts are
different as regards location, size, overall crime rate and presence of drug treatment facilities. In
12
every district a more or less equal number of stake holders and drug users was interviewed.
Considering the fact that this was a qualitative assessment, exploring the meanings that
practitioners and drug users attach to alternative measures and sanctions, it was important that
the diversity in the selection of interviewees was sufficient. The choice for interviewees in each of
these three judicial district was a first step in amplifying this diversity. A second step in ensuring
diversity of the selected interviewees follows from the fact that within each profile category
interviewees were selected that differ from one another in a significant way. In the category of
decision makers we made sure that magistrates were selected from every level of the criminal
justice system, namely investigation and prosecution, sentencing and execution of sentences. At
every level of the criminal justice system, alternative measures and sanctions exist. The profile of
the drug users who are granted these alternatives differ, as well as the procedures applicable.
Therefore it was deemed necessary to interview decision makers at every level of the criminal
justice system. In the category of social workers, interviewees were selected from different
setting, ambulant versus residential, drug specific facilities versus general (psychological) health
care facilities, harm reductions versus abstinence oriented facilities. Considering the fact that the
profile of the referred drug users they get into touch with differs, as well as the treatment
conditions, social workers from each setting were interviewed. Judicial assistants take care of the
judicial follow-up of alternative measures and sanctions. Generally, every judicial assistant
ensures the follow-up for one or two types of alternative measures and sanctions. In the
selection of judicial assistants we thus made sure that judicial assistants for every type of
alternative sanction were included. And finally, drug users were asked about their attitudes and
experiences as well. Nine types of alternative measures were included in this research and
therefore drug users were interviewed about each of these nine types. Moreover, we made sure
that there was enough diversity in the profile of the drug users interviewed regarding age, sex,
type of substance used, types of crime committed, drug treatment facility etcetera.
Profile
Number
Decision makers (mainly magistrates)
28
Social workers
15
Judicial assistants
6
Drug users
63
In total, 112 persons were interviewed. For each of the profiles of the interviewees a saturation
point was reached, at which no new information could be obtained anymore.
The interviews were recorded, after the consent of the interviewee had been obtained, to allow
for a correct reproduction of the visions expressed. Afterwards the interviews were analyzed
using specific software for qualitative analysis. Software for the analysis of qualitative data is not
comparable with the functioning of software for statistical analysis, as the former only support
the analysis. The most important difference is thus that the analysis is not automated. The
software, in this case MAXqda, is only used for the coding (application of key words to text
fragments), searching (tracing relevant text fragments) and linkage (clustering or categorizing of
relevant text fragments).
36
C. Results and discussion
The results concern the level of support that exist for alternative measures and sanctions and the
areas in which room for improvement exist. The results are discussed with attention for the
similarities between the attitudes expressed but also for the differences in visions and the
reasons for this.
13
1. There is a great level of support for judicial alternatives
a. Alternatives offer drug users a chance for change
Decision makers, judicial assistants and social workers, and drug users generally have a positive
attitude towards alternative sanctions and measures, which are considered as a ‘chance’. The
term ‘chance’ is however given a very diverse content.
The decision makers strongly emphasise the recidivism-limiting nature of alternative measures
and sanctions. When drug users are concerned, in their opinion a form of treatment is necessary
to prevent the persons involved from starting to commit crime. Alternative measures are often
used to acquire a form of control over the life course of the drug user. The conditions are
directed at establishing a socially desired structure (work, housing, etc.) in their lives and
referring them to (obligatory) treatment. Decision-makers consider it important that the
necessary follow-up and framework is in place, so that they can check whether the assumed
changes are also realised. In their opinion, alternative sanctions are a real punishment, and
therefore they should include sufficient punitive elements: the drug users have to become aware
that they have violated a norm. They consider alternative sanctions as
more than
a punishment
as well. In their view, the aim of alternative sanctioning is to bring about real changes in the life
of the drug user.
Carers see this ‘chance’ as a period allowing for creating the conditions for stopping use. During
the alternative improvements in his/her life can be achieved together with the client. Alternative
sanctions differ from other sanctions because they also have an added value for the drug user. In
alternative measures problem areas in the life of the individual client can be targeted.
The meaning that the judicial actors and carers attach to this opportunity contains a component
of change.
The drug users interviewed have a very positive attitude towards alternative measures or
sanctions. In the group of drug users, the ‘chance’ provided by the alternative sanction is not
automatically associated with change however. Some drug users do consider alternative
measures as a way to build a new life; others just as a way to avoid (further) imprisonment. In
comparison with prison, however, they do not consider an alternative measure or sanction as
punishment. They feel that it takes great effort and creates psychological pressure. So during an
alternative measure or sanction the drug users interviewed experience a lack of freedom, and
even a sense of uncertainty/vulnerability.
b. Drug users as the pre-eminent target group for judicial alternatives
As regards drug users, who have committed a form of drug related crime, decision-makers tend
to be in favour of the application of alternative sanctions. This is not the population they want to
see in prison, considering that prison does not offer a real chance for the treatment of addiction.
Moreover, they are usually not considered as the category of delinquents presenting the greatest
social risks. Even in case of relapse (into drug use), the protection of society generally is not
endangered.
The decision-makers are therefore convinced that they benefit more from referring them to
treatment, as they belief that drug use is either a passing phase or a real addiction. In the first
case, no drastic measures are necessary. In the second case, treatment is considered to be an
absolute necessity. In either case, a judicial alternative is considered an appropriate response.
Judiciary actors see alternative prosecution as a well-structured system, allowing for a referral to
treatment of imposing suitable conditions on every level of the criminal justice system. Their
views on alternative sanctioning are thus very structured: they know which type of drug user
they prefer to have in which modality and why.
Against this penal law structure there is the perception of drug users who scarcely know the
difference between the modalities. Their attitudes towards judicial alternatives hardly differ
14
according to the type of modality. What counts, is the fact that they are not in prison, and
comply with conditions in order to avoid that they do end up in prison (again).
Carers are found somewhere in between. The modality of alternative measures is of secondary
importance to them. They place the facts within the wider course of life of the drug user and
they primarily focus on their core task the treatment and not on the judicial context. For
carers, the judicial context takes only second place. In the first place they pay attention to the
stage of life in which the client is at that moment. Yet the client's judicial situation is important
for them: they frequently plead for clarity so that there are no unexpected surprises during the
treatment process.
c. Quasi-compulsory treatment is not impossible
Alternative sanctions create a framework in which changes are stimulated in a context of
'pressure'. Judiciary actors explain that they have few problems with the framework; it is not in
contradiction to the functioning of the criminal justice system.
In contrast, carers take the client's perspective into account at all times. They therefore work
within the limits the client indicates. Working under pressure is in contradiction to the normal
practices regarding treatment. Yet working under pressure is not considered to be impossible,
since referral by the judiciary is only the start of the treatment process and does not stand in the
way of an increase in motivation and willingness to change.
Drug users explain that they experience a certain pressure during alternative measures and
sanctions. (Quasi-)compulsory treatment is therefore not obvious to them; for many interviewees
it appeared to be difficult to be open to carers. Motivation is especially lacking when there are
really major problems. Commitment towards care only increases when their situation actually
improves noticeably. So in all cases the start of the alternative measure or sanction appears to be
the most difficult, but the fact that they notice progress in the life situation motivates them to
carry on.
In each group, there are also interviewees who experience a lack of control within alternative
sanctioning. In that respect, the judiciary and carers plead for forensic settings or for adding an
electronic surveillance component to other alternatives. Drug users sometimes propose to
perform more urine controls or to have more house visits.
2. Still reservations are expressed
Still it appears that the three groups have reservations with regard to alternative measures.
Generally speaking the attitudes towards alternative measures and sanctions are positive, but
this does not mean that the potential of judicial alternatives should be overestimated or that
there is no room for improvement.
a. Alternatives do not work miracles
Alternative measures are considered as positive, but the interviewees are not euphoric about
them. Judiciary actors emphasise that they often see the same faces. Therefore they are not
always convinced that alternative measures work as recidivism limitation and they sometimes
have pessimistic attitudes about the effects of alternative measures.
Carers emphasize that they can only ensure the efforts on their behalf but not the results, as the
treatment they provide in the framework of alternative sanctioning does not always have a
positive outcome.
15
Drug users do not expect miracles either during the follow-up period. They look forward, but step
by step. Change is a slow process, in which made-to-measure care is more than welcome. The
way in which care helps is not the same for every drug user. Some benefit more from practical
assistance, others from medical or psychological care. A number of conditions frequently cause
problems, such as avoiding contact with users or with ex-prisoners. Stopping use or breaking
with the drug scene does not work from one day to the next. In many cases, keeping a steady
job is also easier said than done. However, they think they hold the key to success, and it
depends on their commitment and willpower.
b. One drug user is not the other
Alternative sanctions should not necessarily be granted to every drug user. The decision makers
consider a number of facts too severe. With regard to young people and users who have not
committed property or violent offenders, decision-makers are readily prepared to opt for
alternative sanctioning. In the case of drug-related crime (such as property offences) or the sale
of narcotics, alternative sanctioning as such is often thought to be insufficient. Judicial actors
often look for compromises by giving only partial suspension for example. In addition, they are
convinced that a person should not get too many chances. Those who already received many
chances should not count on being allowed to try and try again. A certain basic motivation and
commitment are expected.
Just like the decision-makers, carers are not convinced that alternative measures are the best
solution for everybody. They do not relate this to the offences committed or to the type of
product a person uses, but to the client's willingness to work on his/her problems. So also carers
acknowledge that not everyone benefits from alternative sanctions, but their point of view is
based on the willingness of the client to change. Quite often, judiciary clients experience a lack of
motivation. However, this is not necessarily in the way of further treatment, since the person's
actual motivation increases as the process continues. The importance given to the initial intrinsic
motivation depends on the type of care: in residential care the importance weighs heavier that in
ambulant care.
Drug users as well say that at a certain moment in their life they were just not open to
alternative sanctions, and that they needed imprisonment in order to be mentally ready for a
drastic change in their life course. The attitudes of drug users towards alternative sanctioning,
and the contacts with the judicial assistant, differ. The figure of the judicial assistant evokes
ambiguous feelings. On the one hand it appears that the justice assistant is a person one can fall
back on. On the other hand, it is a person who controls them. Therefore the justice assistant
often cannot expect complete honesty from them. On the contrary, many respondents indicate
that they thwart the control function of the justice assistant. How open they are is often
associated with the personal bonds they experience in the relationship with the justice assistant.
c. Need for knowledge and information
Decision-makers tend to have a controlling attitude. When imposing the measure or sanctions
they envisaged that they would limit recidivism by opting for enforced assistance. Therefore,
during execution, they want sufficient information from carers to ensure that things do not go
wrong. In that sense, their request for information is actually aimed at a form of feedback. If
they get the feeling that they do not have enough guarantees, conflicts sometimes occur when
carers do not want to give information. Furthermore, in their opinion professional confidentiality
should not hinder proper orientation of the file: when a treatment is stopped they want to know
whether this endangers the re-integration of the person involved. Taking into account the aim of
alternative sanctioning (re-integration and recidivism limitation), they plead for a certain
consistency in case of obvious infringement of the conditions.
16
In the group of carers, there is no uniform interpretation of professional confidentiality: not all
carers deal with professional confidentiality in the same way. There are carers who interpret it
restrictively. Restrictive interpretations emanate from the fact that they do not want judicial
actors to enter the carers' territory and from the uncertainty of what is happening with the
information provided. However, many look for a way of providing information that allows the
justice assistant to follow up the evolution of the client.
From the interviews, it appears that the discussion on professional confidentiality is still going on:
there are many differences of opinion about how should be dealt with professional confidentiality
in the context of alternative measures. Yet this point of discussion does not seem to have
primordial importance. The various players seem to have found their position: they know which
information is passed on and which is not, and to a large extent they find it acceptable.
Professional confidentiality is still considered as an obstacle when treatment goes wrong. On the
other hand, mutual lack of knowledge and insight preoccupies most interviewees. The judiciary
and carers are no longer the great unknown to each other, but they often have insufficient
knowledge concerning the fine details in their respective functioning. Moreover, it is often not
known who works where and which centre does what. If there is no contact point, building
proper bridges between the judiciary and carers does not seem an easy task.
D. What’s more?
We found that the level of support for alternative sanctions and measures was considerable. In
the interviews with drug users it became clear that they do not all want to initiate changes in
their lives during the follow-up period. A study evaluation a Canadian diversion program found
similar results, as it appeared that not every client was willing to make constructive efforts. In a
lot of cases, the alternative sanction is no more than a way to avoid the traditional adjudication
of the file.
37
In a Danish study persons with a suspended sentence or a parole were asked for
their attitudes in a survey. Only 8% of the respondents said that they were averse to the follow-
up period, 16% was indifferent, 33% found positive as well as negative elements in the follow-up
period and 43% said to have positive attitudes towards the sanction/measure.
38
Only a minority
thus had a pronounced negative attitude towards the alternative sanctioning. The interviews with
drug users also showed that alternative sanctioning is not considered to be a severe punishment,
or that the punitive component is not predominant. Also other researches with probationers show
that the first reaction when an alternative measure is imposed is often a feeling of relief because
it is ‘only’ an alternative sanction. Afterwards the probationers tend to declare that it was not
really a sanction. Interviewees even describe probation as ‘nothing’ meaning that the most
important instrument used during this sanction is conversation. Where a prison sentence clearly
adds distress and has a clear organisation in time and place, an alternative sanction is more
abstract, less clear to observe.
39
Considering the fact that an alternative sanction implies
individual case work, the content of the sanction can take different forms. This results in diverse
interpretations. On the one hand probationers describe a feeling of control (you always feel
observed); on the other hand a feeling of support (you always have someone to talk to). Still
they both describe the same sanction. Svensson concluded from this that probation is
constructed in the interactions between two individuals, the assistant and the client.
40
A theme that is always at the centre of attention in literature concerning (quasi -)compulsory
treatment is motivation and its relation to coercion.
41
The absence of motivation of the client is
often seen as a obstacle for the inclusion of a treatment component in alternative sanctioning. In
comparison with voluntary clients, clients referred by justice are considered less compliant.
42
The
motivation of these clients is said to be lower at the start of the treatment and mainly based on
external motivation.
43
The willingness to change would therefore be lower than in voluntary
17
clients.
44
Motivation is very important for treatment. Motivated clients show more cooperation
and value the conversations with their carers higher. They stay longer in treatment.
45
Coercion can however not be equalized to the judicial referral. Coercion can derive from other
sources as well and people react differently to it. Also in voluntary treatment there is not always
a free choice. Anybody seeking help is unfree in one way or another. It does not necessarily stem
from judicial coercion, but possibly from significant other, insupportable living circumstances,
unbearable health conditions, constant lack of financial means, problems with employment of
other motives.
46
Addicted persons often are restricted in their choices and options as they are
driven to persistent in their drug use. The personal freedom to choose to stop using drugs is
therefore significantly reduced. External pressure can make treatment more evident or facilitate
the first step.
47
In treatment the personal freedom to choose can be restored and autonomy
renewed.
48
The perception of coercion is also related to, among other things, the age (older clients more
often report feelings of coercion), personal attitude towards drugs use, and coercion imposed by
friends or family.
49
Vandevelde found that also intelligence has a significant impact on
motivation: those who have high intellectual capacities are less motivated for treatment than
those with average or low capacities.
50
Anyway, the less clients believe they are addicted, the
more coercion they experience. Coercion is thus most likely to be felt by those who do not
believe they are addicted.
Coercion and judicial referral are thus not interchangeable concepts and the presence of coercion
can not be deducted from the referral source. In a study conducted by Wild
51
35% of the
judicially referred clients did not report coercion. Also other studies find that those under judicial
supervision can be intrinsically motivated for treatment: this subgroup stays longer in treatment
and shows a higher engagement.
52
Motivation and treatment readiness can be successfully stimulated during treatment.
53
American
studies concerning motivational training in the initial stage of the treatment suggest that
motivation enforcing methods have a positive influence on motivation and treatment readiness.
In a study by Czuchry, and before also in a study by Sia,
54
the effect of motivation enforcing
methods was examined. This training was aimed at increasing knowledge necessary for change
(insight in the accumulation of problems as a consequence of drug use concerning health, social
network, personal achievements, work and judicial situation) and the strengthening of the
personal means and trust for change (identification of personal strengths and applying these to
personal problems). Those who received the motivational training, appeared to more integrated
in the program. The experimental group, who had received the training, was more satisfied with
the treatment characteristics and was more compliant.
55
These findings support the attitude found in the current research that judicial pressure is just one
of the forms of coercion that is experienced at the beginning of a treatment program, and that
few chronic users are only intrinsically motivated when starting treatment.
56
The role of the
criminal justice system is thus to function as an external factor of social control and motivation
until internal social control and internal motivation have developed.
57
E. Conclusion
In conclusion we can state that the interviews have increased the insight in the attitudes of
decision makers, social assistants, judicial assistants and drug users towards alternative
sanctioning. From the interviews we learn that there are strong similarities between the three
profiles, which provide for a strong basis for the continued functioning of alternative sanctioning.
The interviews showed that the level of support for the judicial alternative is high, mainly
because of the fact that it offers drug users a chance to change their life courses. Moreover,
interviewees are convinced that drug users are very likely to benefit from alternative measures as
18
they are in need of treatment or of personalized measures. An important point of attention
according to the interviewees however, is the knowledge judicial actors and social workers have
of each others work and organisation (in view of the realisation of adequate referrals and
communication). In this way they can avoid unrealistic expectations (alternative sanctioning does
not work miracles) and increase success by stimulating good referrals from judicial actors to
treatment services.
1
In Belgium several types of alternative measures and sanctions exist. At every level of the criminal justice
system the possibility exists to divert offenders (in this case drug users) away from the traditional judicial
pathway. At on the level of the public prosecutor, transaction and mediation in criminal cases are the main
alternative measures. Praetorian probation is the third possibility at this level, but this modality of
alternative measure does not have a legal framework. At sentencing level two forms of probation allow for
the abandonment of traditional sanctions, i.e. a probation order without conviction and a probation order
with delay of the execution of the punishment. In the execution of sentences as well, there is the possibility
to grant alternatives to imprisonment. Prisoners can be provisionally or conditionally released, and thus
shorten their imprisonment by accepting to comply with certain conditions. Also, prison sentences can be
served under electronic surveillance.
2
PIQUERO N: A recidivism analysis of Maryland’s community probation program. Journal of Criminal
Justice 2003;31:295 307; STANFORD J EN ARRIGO B: Lifting the Cover on Drug Courts: evaluation
finding and policy concerns., International Journal of Offender Therapy and Comparative Criminology
2005;3:239-259; INCIARDI J: Five-year outcomes of therapeutic community treatment of drug-involved
offenders after release from prison. Crime and Delinquency 2004: 88-106; PEERSEN M: Predicting re-
offending: a 5-year prospective study on Icelandic prison inmates, Psychology, Crime and Law 2004: 197-
204
3
WARTNA B EN NIJSSEN L: National studies on recidivism: an inventory of large-scale recidivism research
in 33 European Countries. Memorandum 2006-2, WODC
4
Kyvsgaard opted for a similar operationalisation. Cf. KYVSGAARD B: The Criminal Career. Cambridge,
University Press, 2003.
5
Ruefli en Rogers, for instance (RUEFLI T EN ROGERS S, How do drug users define their progress in harm
reduction programs? Qualitative research to develop user-generated outcomes. Harm Reduction Journal
2004), opted to avoid subjectivity by letting drug users themselves define progress. In EuropASI, objective
criteria are sought to determine whether someone has improved in the life spheres studied. The seriousness
of problems is expressed in scores. Dutch studies often confine themselves to postulating the ‘desired’
situations and indicating whether or not the clients achieved it (e.g. BIELEMAN B e.a.: Opgevangen onder
drang. Groningen, Intraval, 2002)
6
KRENZ S: French version of the addiction severity index (5th edition): validity and reliability among
Swiss opiate-Dependent Patients. European Addiction Research 2004: 173-179
7
If necessary, e.g. because of attrition, the sampling process was repeated in order to reach the postulated
number of files.
8
SWANBORN P: Evalueren. Boom, Amsterdam, 1999; SHERMAN L: Evidence-based crime prevention.
London, Routledge, 2002
9
Even better than the quasi-experimental design are the level 4 design in which the control for other
variables that influence recidivism is added to the quasi-experimental design and the level 5 design that is
characterised by a random assignation of research units to experimental and control conditions.
10
CHAN M e.a.: Evaluation of probation case management for drug-involved women offenders. Crime and
delinquency 2005: 447-469
11
Subjects who are or who are not granted an alternative measure often are quite different with regard to
their profile and motivation. PETERS R, MURRIN M: Effectiveness of treatment-based drug courts in
reducing criminal recidivism. Criminal Justice and Behaviour 2000;27: 90; HEALE P, LANG E: A process
evaluation of the CREDIT pilot programme, Drug and Alcohol Review, 2001;20: 224; SPOHN C, PIPER R,
MARTIN T, FRENZEL E: Drug courts and recidivism: The results of an evaluation using two comparison
groups and multiple indicators of recidivism. Journal of Drug Issues 2001; 31: 155; TERRY-MCELRATH Y,
MCBRIDE D: Local Implementation of Drug Policy and Access to Treatment Services for Juveniles, Crime
& Delinquency 2004; 50: 61
19
12
Previously existing trends persist.
13
In a pre-post design the tendency is found that the follow-up values are again situated closer to the mean,
because random error in the pre-measurement possibly caused a proportion of the extreme values.
14
Improvement occurs spontaneously and does not stem from the judicial intervention.
15
KYVSGAARD B: Supervision of offenders: can an old-fashioned service system be of any service in the
case of present-day offenders. Journal of Scandinavian studies in Criminology and Crime Prevention 2000:
73-86
16
MACKKENZIE D: The impact of formal and informal social controls on the criminal activities of
probationers. Journal of research in crime and delinquency 2002: 243-276
17
Conditional discharge was left out of this calculation.
18
Conditional discharge was left out of this calculation.
19
The rate is calculated by dividing the number of charges/convictions through the time span of the period
concerned. The value that is found is multiplied by 365. The rate thus reflects the average number of
charges/convictions per year. The reference period for the first rate starts with the first charge and ends
when the judicial alternative is granted. The reference period for the second charge starts with the judicial
alternative and lasts until the end of the follow-up period of five years.
20
ZANIS D. e.a.: The effectiveness of early parole to substance abuse treatment facilities on 24-month
criminal recidivism. Journal of Drug Issues; 2003: 223-235
21
INCIARDI J: Five-year outcomes of therapeutic community treatment of drug-involved offenders after
release from prison. Crime and Delinquency 2004: 88-106
22
MACKKENZIE D: The impact of formal and informal social controls on the criminal activities of
probationers. Journal of research in crime and delinquency 2002:243-276
23
In the United States drug (treatment) courts were established in order to deal with the problems that had
arisen following the increasing number of drug cases. Individuals who have committed drug related crime
can be brought before the drug court. Certain offenders are however excluded, e.g. violent offenders. The
drug court program implies the start of interventions aimed at the reduction of drug use and crime and
based on regular contacts with the drug court, drug testing and treatment. See: STANFORD J EN ARRIGO B,
Lifting the Cover on Drug Courts: evaluation finding and policy concerns. International Journal of
Offender Therapy and Comparative Criminology 2005: 239-259
24
WILD T, ROBERTS A, COOPER E: Compulsory substance abuse treatment: An overview of recent findings
and issues. European Addiction Research 2002: 84 93.
25
SPOHN C et al: Drug courts and recidivism: the results of an evaluation using two comparison groups
and multiple indicators of recidivism. Journal of Drug Issues 2001: 149-176
26
INCIARDI J: Five-year outcomes of therapeutic community treatment of drug-involved offenders after
release from prison. Crime and Delinquency 2004: 88-106; SPOHN C e.a.: Drug courts and recidivism: the
results of an evaluation using two comparison groups and multiple indicators of recidivism. Journal of
Drug Issues 2001: 149-176
27
KYVSGAARD B: Supervision of offenders: can an old-fashioned service system be of any service in the
case of present-day offenders. Journal of Scandinavian studies in Criminology and Crime Prevention
2000;1: 73-86
28
The desired situation is always the situation in which there is no need for treatment or guidance: having a
steady job, a permanent place to live, sufficient supportive social and familial relationships and meaningful
leisure-time activities.
29
MACKKENZIE D: The impact of formal and informal social controls on the criminal activities of
probationers. Journal of research in crime and delinquency 2002: 243-276
30
MACKKENZIE D: The impact of formal and informal social controls on the criminal activities of
probationers. Journal of research in crime and delinquency 2002: 243-276
31
HEPBURN J EN GRIFFIN M: The effect of social bonds on successful adjustment to probation: an event
history analysis. Criminal Justice Review 2004: 46-75
32
DE LI S EN LAYTON MACKENZIE D: The gendered effects of adult social bonds on the criminal activities
of probationers. Criminal Justice Review 2003: 278-298
33
MACKKENZIE D: The impact of formal and informal social controls on the criminal activities of
probationers. Journal of research in crime and delinquency 2002: 243-276
34
J. BILLIET, Methoden van sociaal-wetenschappelijk onderzoek : ontwerp en dataverzameling, Acco,
Leuven, 1996; B.K. PAYNE, R.R. GAINEY, R.A.TRIPLETT, M.J.E. DANNER, “What drives punitive beliefs?:
20
Demographic characteristics and justifications for sentencing.”, Journal of Criminal Justice 2004, 32, 195
206.
35
F. WESTER, Strategieën voor kwalitatief onderzoek, Muiderberg, Coutinho, 1991, p. 88; J.B, BILLIET,
Methoden van sociaal-wetenschappelijk onderzoek, Leuven, Acco, 1996, p. 215.
36
U. FLICK, An introduction to qualitative research, London, Sage, 2002, 310 p.
37
T. LANDAU, ‘How to put the community in community-based justice: some views of participants in
criminal court diversion’, The Howard Journal, 2004, vol 43, p. 131-148
38
B. KYVSGAARD, ‘Supervision of offenders: can an old-fashioned service system be of any service in the
case of present-day offenders’, Journal of Scandinavian studies in Criminology and Crime Prevention,
2000, Vol 1, p. 73-86
39
K. SVENSSON, ‘Social work in the criminal justice system: an ambiguous exercise of caring power’,
Journal of Scandinavian Studies in Criminology and Crime Prevention, 2003, vol 4, p. 84-100
40
K. SVENSSON, ‘Social work in the criminal justice system: an ambiguous exercise of caring power’,
Journal of Scandinavian Studies in Criminology and Crime Prevention, 2003, vol 4, p. 84-100
41
G. MANTLE EN S. MOORE, ‘On probation: pickled and nothing to say’, The Howard Journal, 2004, Vol.
43, nr. 3, p. 309
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