In this volume, international contributors discuss the philosophical basis and history of harm reduction policies and examine their outcomes. They also cover controversial topics related to harm reduction especially conflicts between the public health system, where most programs are located, and a worldwide criminal justice system that further marginalizes drug users. The book describes programs from the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada, Brazil, The Netherlands, Switzerland and Australia.
Chapter 10: The Harm Reduction Roles of the American Criminal Justice System
The Harm Reduction Roles of the American Criminal Justice System
For the better part of the 20th century, there has been a concerted belief in what has been referred to as the “enslavement theory of addiction” (Inciardi, 1992, pp. 263–264). The theory has two premises. First, the great majority of those who use heroin, cocaine, and other illegal drugs commit crimes because they are enslaved to their drugs of choice. Second, because of the high prices maintained by drug black markets, otherwise law-abiding users are forced to commit crimes in order to support their habits.
The origins of the enslavement theory of addiction date back to 19th-century America with the early clinical writings about morphine dependence ...