Topic/Issue Presented Drug courts are used to target specific offenders and provide specialized resources to them. Drug courts are supposed to be based on a different philosophy compared to the traditional criminal justice court experience. Drug courts serve as a diversion program. Rather than incarceration, the defendant is processed through a treatment program. If the defendant is deemed to have meaningfully engaged in the program and showed success, the initial criminal charges are dismissed. Proponents say that the idea is that instead of an adversarial process, drug courts are meant to address the root of the cause of the crimes and to offer a supportive environment geared towards rehabilitation and reform. Critics argue, however, that the drug court model is a "sheep in wolves clothing." Hardly a replacement of the traditional punitive model, it instead just frames the crime and punishment under a different framework. Defendants must report often, be subjected to frequent searches and drug screening, and it may subject them to serve more time in the criminal justice system than had they served jail time. Not all participants are successful, and failure then results in the start of a jail term. Instruction In this assignment, you will reflect on the alternative court systems designed to address adapt to the specific needs of the offender. You will examine the benefits and effectiveness of these alternative programs through the Drug Court system. As you review the material consider whether the system is actually different or is it the same criminal justice system just under a different format. You will do this by completing each: 1- Read/Review Supplemental Lesson: "Why People Commit "Crimes" no detailed review or notes are needed. These will not be tested in the exam. You just need to skim it enough to form and opinion and have key terms to use in your reflection.) Assignment Lesson on Drug Court here 2- Watch both videos. (failure to describe and cite both videos will affect your grade) (2A) To understand the problem these courts are meant to address, watch Chasing Heroin (1hr 54min) Season 34: Episode 6 Description: Places America’s heroin crisis in a fresh and provocative light — telling the stories of individual addicts, but also illuminating the epidemic’s years-in-the-making social context, deeply examining shifts in U.S. drug policy, and exploring what happens when addiction is treated like a public health issue, not a crime. Watch here (Links to an external site.) or at https://www.pbs.org/wgbh/frontline/film/chasing-heroin/ (Links to an external site.) (2B) To explore whether the drug court model can address these needs watch PBS - Drug Court (27min) Description: Is drug court too easy? Does it help drug abusers beat addiction? In this piece from the Panhandle PBS program "Live Here," we examine these questions to find out how drug court is affecting the lives of those struggling with drug addiction in the Texas Panhandle. (https://www.pbs.org/video/live-here-drug-court/) (3) In approx. 1,000 - 2,000 words (2-4 pages if single spaced), use specifically cited references and explanations from each of the documentary and supporting materials, specifically connecting it to our course lessons (lecture, supplemental lessons, and/or textbook), to address: (3i)Based on the "explanations of criminal behavior" (see No 1 above), explain whether you believe addiction should be treated like a public health issue, not a crime. Your answer must be based on specific explanations from each of the assignment lessons, documentaries, and course lessons. Consider, for example, our lessons on the Role of Crime in Society. (3ii) Explain whether you believe the current drug court model effectively addresses the unique needs of offenders with substance abuse addiction? Explain the basis of your opinion using specifically cited references to the videos and course materials (reading and lessons). Your answer must specifically describe scenes from the video, and use our course and assignment materials to explain it. (3iii) Do you believe drug court should be used to address all offenders with substance abuse addictions or only those that committed certain crimes (e.g., non-violent or first-time offenders)? Explain the basis of your opinion using specifically cited references to the videos and course materials (reading and lessons). Your answer must specifically describe scenes from the video, and use our course and assignment materials to explain it. The 1,000-2,000 word (2-4 page) guideline is approximate. While your response may be shorter or longer, keep in mind that you are assessed on your ability to show the depth of your understanding on the topic. You convey you understand the issue by striking a balance between being both thoughtful and thorough in your response. To receive full credit you should address each of the bullet point questions raised in the prompt. Your grade is based on providing a thoughtful and substantive opinion. Although brief, your answer must show you: (i) reviewed and understood the materials (ii) gained a big-picture understanding of the debate on this topic (iii) formulated an opinion based on the discussion (iv) can present and explain your position concisely and directly You must watch, describe, and specifically cite this the documentary; failure to do so results in the loss of points. But you are not expected to review and cite every supplemental resource. You can review the supplemental resources to the extent it helps give you a better understanding of the topic. Make sure, though, you cite any source you refer to including if you conduct additional research.