Perceptions of Balanced Justice and Rehabilitation for Drug Offenders [2018]

Drug courts were designed as a way to provide both rehabilitation and sanction-based approaches to drug offenders. Yet studies have not directly tested a “balanced” approach to justice for drug offenders. Drawing on the work of Mears, Pickett, and Mancini, this study adapts the philosophical tenets of juvenile courts into a drug court setting. This study uses multinomial logistic regression from a sample of 575 undergraduate criminology and criminal justice students from a large southern university to assess support for sanctioning approaches for nonviolent and violent drug offenders. Findings suggest that participants support a balanced justice approach to sanctioning violent drug offenders, whereas supporting a rehabilitation approach to sanctioning nonviolent drug offenders. The findings from this study highlight the importance of the public’s differing views on sanctioning drug-involved offenders.

Lincoln B. Sloas, Cassandra A. Atkin-Plunk
Criminal Justice Policy Review, March 19, 2018