This chapter introduces the survey on relevant literature collated from various sources that respond to the inquiry concerning the overall significance of the treatment, management of and incarceration, and recovery of substance abuse offenders. Drug abuse or substance abuse is an ever-present problem on the minds of Americans (Sacks, et al. , 1997). Although the US Federal government has done a lot in terms of programs to alleviate this persistent problem in society, still, this particular social illness remains.
It is observed that those who use drugs are more prone to commit criminal offences than those who are not “users” (Anglin & Speckart, 1984, Cited in The Report of the National Task Force on Correctional Substance Abuse Strategies). The team of doctors and researchers of the Alcohol Medical Scholars Program (Pieri, 2009) put together clear, well-substantiated materials for public and private use on their wage to war against alcoholism and its adverse effects, before the damage to the public in terms of criminality and health are concerned (Sindelar et al, 2007; Sacks, et al.
, 1997). The social profiles of a substance abuser/offender are depicted as follows: a)they are mostly male; b) families described as dysfunctional are apt to characterize them; c) almost a third only are employed on a full time basis; d) more than two-thirds had gone through incarceration; and lastly e) almost half had undergone treatment or intervention processes previously (Pieri, 2009). The idea of a therapeutic community is then almost the ideal solution for recovering addicts, abusers and dependents (Wild, 2006; Tims et al.
, 2008). However, differing schools of thoughts were the major considerations as to the design, management, philosophical foundations, and sustainability of these communities or programs (Bleiberg et al. , 1994; Rawlings, 1999). The effectiveness is not taken for granted but the measures to evaluate are oftentimes difficult, cost and labor-intensive, lengthy, and time consuming (Bleiberg et al. , 1994; Jones, 1997; Wild, 2006).
Hence, with the proliferation of contemporary rehabilitation centers and half-way houses from both the private and public sectors, the issue of empirically tailored evaluative measures (Sindelar, 2007) can be daunting and challenging (Nemes, 1999). Reports include drop-out rates or recidivism (Condelli, 1994; 1994; Melnick, 2000) but as to their exact number and as to methods of following them up and retention aspects, these facilities still have to improve its recording, monitoring and reporting procedures to date (Sugarman, 1984; Pieri, 2009).
In view of these developments, what are some of the approaches being used by the American government to deal with this problem? What means are more effective and are indeed bearing fruit? It is important to point out that issues concerning actual recovery and recidivism rates of substance abusers or offenders in the United States have come to light (Sindelar, 2007). The need for evaluating programs posed by the US government that address the concerns highlighted is not only necessary or urgent; it is also timely and relevant (Condelli, 1994; DeLeon, 1984; 1994).
There are various subsections then that are dealt with in this chapter that facilitate the proper understanding of the issue herein stated. Background of the Problem Sociologists, in an attempt to explain and point out the reasons behind delinquency, have concluded that there are connections between specific youth behaviors with the home environment, family background, the neighborhood, associations, and many other aspects that together, or separately affect the formative years of young people’s social environment (Tims et al. , 2008). Delinquent children usually come from a background of difficult circumstances (DeLeon and Schwartz, 2007).
Parental alcoholism, poverty, breakdown of family, abusive conditions in the home, death of parents during armed conflicts or drug overdose, and the HIV/AIDS scourge, and etc. are some of the various reasons that can leave children virtually orphaned. One or both parents may be physically present, but because of irresponsibility on their part (if even one of them is addicted to drugs or alcoholic), a child may grow developing certain ways and attitudes that are directly/indirectly caused by the parent/s addiction or drug-related behavior (Cullen, 1997).
In this case, true delinquency lies on the parents; and the children are, in a way, orphaned or unaccompanied, and without any means of subsistence which, in the first place, the parents’ fundamental responsibility to provide (Galanter and Kleber, 1999). Generally, and increasingly, these children are born and/or raised without a father. They are first in the line of those who are at greatest risk of falling into juvenile delinquency.
Without noticing it as it is typical of any youth to be lacking in prudence, with newly embraced group, the gang, a corresponding subculture starts to assimilate them, and before long, they start to engage in activities of adult criminal groups. It is usually after being engaged in criminal activities for an extended period of time with its accompanying consequences (such as ending up in prison or rehabilitation institutions for drug addicts) that delinquents realize they are into a very dangerous zone(Cullen, 1997).
A large portion of all juvenile violations (between two-thirds and three-quarters) are perpetrated by youths who are members of certain gangs (Jones, 1997; Venkatesh, 1997). Unlike in school and their family, these have no strict rules to be followed except loyalty to the group. It gives young people esteem when they somehow feel they are the “rule” in themselves. This is the lure of gangs. It gives the promise of fulfillment to would be delinquents.
Popularity, access to the powerful figures on the streets, freedom to express one’s self, as well as easy flow of money (if the gang is also involved in some illegal activities such as drug dealings, which is common in most gangs) are seemingly within grasp of anybody who just have the guts to dare (OJJDP, Mar. 2003). Children who are well taken care of by their parents and are thus adequately supervised are at less odds to be involved in criminal activities. Studies have proven that.
A dysfunctional family, on the other hand, which is commonly characterized by regular conflicts, parental negligence, poor communication because of absorption to outside activities by parents, are always assumed to be the breeding ground for delinquents (Venkatesh, 1997). The case of homeless: Pointing the finger on socio-cultural structural deficits Homelessness is, unfortunately, one of the problems facing even the First World Countries. It’s inconceivable but a reality to be reckoned.
One can just walk down the street and almost always without fail find a vagrant sitting alongside asking for alms. In almost every city, there are homeless folks. There are a lot of factors contributing to homelessness and they are divided into two groupings called structural factors and individual factors. Problems such as poverty, unaffordable housing, and disability, are among those under the category of structural factors; whereas, untreated mental illness, illegal-drug abuse, and other causes such as natural disasters, etc.
fall under the classification called individual factors (_________ “Homelessness – Provision of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services,” 2003). African American families comprise the highest of those who have become homeless. Because homeless parents live in the streets, their upcoming offspring/s has the potentiality of ending up living in the same condition. With no atmosphere of security and psychological stability, children born to parents in the streets have low birth weight and need additional care higher than children born under normal conditions.
Because of the living condition of their parents, 70 percent of homeless infants usually have inherited chronic illnesses. Aside from the physical disadvantages of homeless children, at school, they are poor learners. Because they suffer emotionally and have behavioral problems, these often interfere with their learning ability (Hart-Shegos, Ellen, 1999). ~Nature of Violence or Aggression “From very early, the oxygen of the criminal’s life is to seek excitement by doing the forbidden. “- S. Samenow
A radical turn from the contemporary to classical rationalizations on violent behavior equivalent to possessing a criminal mind, Stanton Samenow offered a quite “sweeping” point of view based on what he calls “errors of thinking. ” Whereas years spent in studying and treating adolescence clinical disorders, he had leaned upon the understanding that adolescents, criminal behavior and/or violence in general have social determinants as a major factor, this change of mind was brought about by a collaborative work with another practitioner Dr. Yochelson (Genre,http://www. criminology.
fsu. edu/crimtheory/samenow. htm). An elevated fear on the occurrence of violence in school is expectedly high not only because of what happened in Virginia Tech recently; this is because other forms of aggression or violent acts committed by students have not changed instead, increased in number among campuses today. In an excellent study by Jaana, the author specifically isolated these acts as becoming the source of fear for the average students to experience anytime during their school lives. The study reveals that suburban schools are also profiled as becoming unsafe these days.
These violent activities can be in the form of physical attack for no apparent reason or provocation, fights without using any weapon, pilfering, breaking and entering school property, and vandalism. In addition, victimization occurs, in the manner of students stealing property of another (e. g. , books etc. ), being threatened because of racial or cultural difference, bullying, and threats of injury to teachers and not only to students among others (Jaana, 2001 in http://www. ncdjjdp. org/cpsv/Acrobatfiles/statistics_2008. pdf).