… and yet more trees

Lowry Heussler and I have a piece on “Crime-Minimizing Drug Policy” in the latest Journal of Criminal Justice.

Here’s the conclusion:

Drug abuse control policy tends to focus on reducing drug consumption, with “supply side” (laws and enforcement) and
“demand side” (prevention and treatment) as the means to that end. There seems little reason to hope that simply doing more of any of those things can substantially shrink either drug abuse or drug-related crime. Properly designed and implemented interventions that focus on flagrant markets, violent dealers, and criminally active high-rate drug users – along with the easiest anti-crime policy of all, raising alcohol taxes – could reduce both crime and incarceration.

Author: Mark Kleiman

Professor of Public Policy at the NYU Marron Institute for Urban Management and editor of the Journal of Drug Policy Analysis. Teaches about the methods of policy analysis about drug abuse control and crime control policy, working out the implications of two principles: that swift and certain sanctions don't have to be severe to be effective, and that well-designed threats usually don't have to be carried out. Books: Drugs and Drug Policy: What Everyone Needs to Know (with Jonathan Caulkins and Angela Hawken) When Brute Force Fails: How to Have Less Crime and Less Punishment (Princeton, 2009; named one of the "books of the year" by The Economist Against Excess: Drug Policy for Results (Basic, 1993) Marijuana: Costs of Abuse, Costs of Control (Greenwood, 1989) UCLA Homepage Curriculum Vitae Contact: Markarkleiman-at-gmail.com

5 thoughts on “… and yet more trees”

  1. Mark, did you see Christy Visher’s article in the same issue on the “Decide Your Time” initiative in Delaware? It sounds like “Decide Your Time” is a HOPE type replication/extension. Any thoughts on that paper?

  2. Saw it. Not sure what to think. They’re keeping the data very close to the vest. But I’m glad to see they’re emphasizing the operational aspect. I don’t think we’re going to find many surprises in the behavior of the probationers; the puzzle is the behavior of the officials.

  3. Sorry but the link didn’t send me to the full article which might have explained the author’s description of supply-side as ‘laws and enforcement’. Tough laws and rigid enforcement should have primarily a demand-side effect. Properly supply-side efforts should look up the supply chain to the producers – of both drugs and the funds to buy them. If the Indians and Chinese stopped shipping pseudophedrine or tweakers couldn’t steal your identity or car, the supply of meth and the ability to pay for it would drop sharply.

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