Why do advocates of the crime control model oppose drug courts?

Asked on by surfer3

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brettd's profile pic

brettd | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Educator Emeritus

Posted on

In addition to the above points, consider the purpose of drug courts in general, that is why were they created?  When the "Drug War" began in the 1980s, the number of drug cases brought before the court system as a whole exploded into the tens of thousands per year.  While crime control advocates are not against the idea of a court to deal with only drug cases, they are against what they have evolved into, which is a quick and cheap way for the government to dispose of large numbers of such cases and still claim to be enforcing the law.

The vast majority of these cases result in little jail time, sort of a fast track plea bargain style of sentencing that often results in community service, probation, restitution and treatment for first time offenders.  What crime control theorists haven't really articulated well is how a system that aggressively enforced all drug laws could function on a practical level, especially in a budget crisis.

pohnpei397's profile pic

pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted on

Basically, crime control proponents feel that drug courts are too lenient and will not sufficiently deter crime.  In the crime control model, the whole purpose of the criminal justice system is to deter crime.  Therefore, proponents of this model want the system to hand out harsh punishments so that people will not want to commit crimes.

In contrast to this model, drug courts can be seen as lenient.  The divert offenders away from being put in jail and send them to be treated instead.  This, to crime control model proponents, is not harsh enough to deter people from committing crimes.

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