‘Treatment in Criminal Justice Settings: Mandatory vs Voluntary Treatment and Rehabilitation’ 

Tim McSweeney

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)peer-review


The public health and community safety challenges associated with the use of illicit drugs have intensified in recent years, with the number of people using illicit drugs increasing globally, and rates of fatal drug-related overdose rising considerably, particularly in North America and parts of Western Europe. Yet prevention efforts and treatment provision typically fail to meet levels of need and demand in many parts of the world. At the same time, ‘drug-related’ offending continues to be a significant driver of global prison populations and its associated costs. While a growing number of countries have implemented alternative policy innovations for dealing with drug-using suspects, defendants and convicted offenders using forms of depenalisation, diversion or decriminalisation, most continue to incarcerate and criminalise people for the possession or use of illicit drugs, and rely on punitive sanctions, such as imprisonment, as the default response to ‘drug-related’ crime. This chapter draws upon international evidence for the effectiveness of ‘coerced’ and mandated forms of treatment (which are ordered, motivated or supervised by the CJS) as a response to ‘drug-related’ offending. It also highlights what this evidence base tells us about how different contexts and mechanisms for implementation and delivery can hinder or enhance the effectiveness of these approaches.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationTextbook of Addiction Treatment:
Subtitle of host publication International Perspectives
EditorsNady el-Guebaly, Giuseppe Carrà, Marc Galanter, Alexander M. Baldacchino
PublisherSpringer Nature
Number of pages14
ISBN (Electronic)9783030363918
ISBN (Print)9783030363901
Publication statusPublished - 2021


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