Home > A tale of two sectors: a critical analysis of the proposal to establish drug courts in the Republic of Ireland.

Butler, Shane (1999) A tale of two sectors: a critical analysis of the proposal to establish drug courts in the Republic of Ireland. In: Illicit drugs: patterns of use - pattern of response: 10th annual ESSD Conference on Drug Use and Drug Policy in Europe, 20-22 September 1999, Vienna, Austria. (Unpublished)

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It was formally recommended in 1998 that dedicated drug courts, similar to those -which have been operating in the USA, should be established in the Republic of Ireland in order to cope more speedily and effectively with the large numbers of drug-using offenders coming before Irish courts and being processed through the criminal justice system as a whole. This policy recommendation was accepted, and planning for the introduction of drug courts in Ireland is now at an advanced stage. The philosophy which underpins the drug courts concept is essentially of a treatment or rehabilitative nature; it is accepted that simple imprisonment of convicted drug users is generally unsuccessful, involving a high degree of recidivism, so, as an alternative, dedicated courts are created with a view to diverting offenders into intensive outpatient treatment which is supervised closely by the court. The proposal to establish such courts in Ireland is reviewed critically here against the background of the evolving Irish drug treatment system, and it is argued specifically that its proponents have failed to acknowledge or address the cultural differences and strategic conflicts which continue to characterise relationships between the two relevant governmental sectors - the criminal justice and healthcare sectors - in their attempts at collaborating on the management of drug problems.


Item Type:Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Date:1999
Page Range:pp. 47-58
Event Title:Illicit drugs: patterns of use - pattern of response: 10th annual ESSD Conference on Drug Use and Drug Policy in Europe
Event Location:Vienna, Austria
Event Dates:20-22 September 1999
EndNote:View
Accession Number:HRB (Electronic Only)
Subjects:MM-MO Crime and law > Justice system > Court system > Drug court
VA Geographic area > Europe > Ireland
T Demographic characteristics > Offender

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