Drug Courts and Arrest for Substance Possession: Was the African American Community Differentially Impacted?

Segunda, 06 Agosto 2018 09:52

Abstract

Although drug courts were intended to reduce the justice system involvement of drug offenders, a recent study found evidence that drug courts were associated with increased (rather than decreased) arrests for minor misdemeanor drug offenses. The author of that study noted that findings raised further questions about whether the increased drug arrests should be interpreted as beneficial or harmful and whether they might have had a differential impact on minority residents. This study incorporated race-specific arrest information to partially answer these questions by utilizing a series of fixed-effects regressions among U.S. cities with populations over 50,000 from 1990 to 2006. Findings indicate that drug court implementation was associated with substantial increases in arrests of Black, but not White residents. Ethical and theoretical implications for therapeutic jurisprudence, problem-solving courts, and the minority threat perspective are discussed.

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