Drug abuse is the continual usage of addictive or illegal substances and comprises an estimated 80% of crimes leading to imprisonment in the United States alone, according to the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence Incorporation (NCADD).
The information below will traverse through five separate references that explore the varying causes and effects of drug abuse to the criminal way of thinking and how they prioritize. One misconception that needs to be addressed before moving on is of the correlation between drug abuse and criminality is that drugs “can turn… normal young men and women to crime”, as said in the 1963 Final Report of the President’s Advisory Commission on Narcotic and Drug Abuse. However, drug abuse draws out and intensifies the person that has always been within. The first purpose of Walters (2012) is deciding whether prior drug abuse correlates with two elements (Proactive and/or Reactive) of criminal thinking. Another purpose of this study is deciding if criminal thinking arbitrates the connection between previous drug abuse and the tendency of relapsing into their unsavory criminal behavior (recidivism).
The final is deciding if there is an unmediated correlation between the abuse of specific drugs and the varying thinking styles of criminal thinking. It is hypothesized that a strong relationship would appear between drug abuse and reactive criminal thinking. However, there would not be a correlation between drug abuse and proactive criminal thinking, especially after the differences in reactive criminal thinking were monitored. Within this study, there are two more additional hypothesis such as it is believed that reactive criminal thinking would moderate the relationships between the history of drug abuse and the continuous return to recidivism. The second is the prediction that there would be a correlation between specific elements of reactive criminal thinking (cutoff, cognitive indolence, and discontinuity) and Particular drug usage (alcohol, marijuana, Heroin, cocaine, amphetamine, PCP). There are drugs that those elements mentioned before would correlate to such as, heroin and discontinuity, alcohol and cutoff, and marijuana and cognitive indolence.
The participants involved in this study where those that are reside in a federal corrections facility located somewhere in the northeastern part of the United States. There are 2877 male inmates involved with the mean age of 34 years with the estimated years of education to be 11. The ethnic distribution varied from White (17.3%), Black (63.6%), Hispanic (17.
6%), and either Asian or Native American (1.4%). Their marriage status varied from single (72.8%), married (19.8%), divorced/separation (6.
8%), or widowed (0.6%). The average sentence length was 101.45 months and the offences (only includes two thirds of the sample) included, drugs (38.1%), firearms (16.
1%), and robbery (12.2%). The procedure for this study is broken up into three main components, receiving/gathering the data through ethical means, data analysis, and using the data to make the associations that provides solid evidence for the initial hypothesis as well as the others. The data used of this study was approved for the use of research purposes by the “Bureau of Prisons Institutional Review Board” since it was initially used by the prison during their “routine intake”.
There were 3039 male inmates whose information was considered for data intake, but 162 of them were removed due to not meeting the requirements of prison protocol. Of those who participated in the intake analysis, there was a subsample from the finalized group whose data also served in analysis for the other hypotheses, which allowed for more data on recidivism. The data was then used in correlation with the “Psychological Inventory of Criminal Thinking Styles” (PICTS) (Walters 1995) to create those associations between the criminal thinking styles, prior drug abuse, and the number of drugs abused by the participants. The PICTS provides both, reconstructed Reactive Criminal Thinking Score (Rrc) and the reconstructed Proactive Criminal Thinking Score (Prc).
The data was then separated to make individual correlations between reactive criminal styles and the six drugs of abuse, alcohol (313 abusers), marijuana (481 users), heroin (98 abusers), cocaine (261 abusers), methamphetamine (33 abusers), and PCP (85 abusers). The results provide an indication that the Rrc scores have a significant correlation with prior substance abuse when the effects produced by the alternative measures were controlled. The reactive criminal thinking was found to interpose the relationship between continuous recidivism and the history of prior drug abuse. Two “drug-criminal thinking correlations” were able to be collected for analysis, “specific (alcohol and cutoff, and marijuana with cognitive indolence) and global (heroin, cocaine, and amphetamine with cutoff, cognitive indolence, and discontinuity)”. This data implies that reactive criminal thinking plays an important position in the correlations between drug abuse and crime.
The main limitation comes from the data collected on prior drug abuse comes from the “substance abuse section” on the inmate’s presentence investigation report. This data was collected by inmate’s probation officer. However, that section was gathered by the inmate’s own self-report, which is based on a bias view of a criminal mind.
A more obvious limitation comes from the participants because of the strict male presence and the fact that, “nearly two thirds of whom are African American” (Walters 2012). The study is generalized towards African American male due to the lack of female, juvenile and offenders of other ethnic backgrounds presences. (Grella 2005) explores the causes of drug abuse in criminals since the purpose is to find the correlations “among the exposure to childhood abuse and traumatic events, adolescence conduct problems and drug abuse, and adult psychological distress and criminal behavior.
This study was driven by the hypothesis that the women offenders who had a higher exposure rate of childhood tragedies and troubled adolescent years would have am indirect affect on adult criminal behavior and psychological distress later in life. The participants consisted of 440 women “recruited” from the “Female Offender Treatment and Employment Program” (FOTEP) of California and had a variety of ethnic backgrounds, which contained African American (41.7%), Hispanic (18.6%), White (27.
9%), Native American (2.5%), Asian (0.7), Multiethnic (5.3%), and Other (3.2%).
The women ranged from the ages of 22 to 58 years with the mean age of 35.5. Their education level varied from “less than a high school education” (47%), high school graduates/GED recipients (27%), attended a college/university (15%), college graduate (< 2%), and attended a trade school (10%). There was an estimated 60% of those women who were unemployed for a year before being taken into custody. Through illegal means, the study sample was able to make three times the income than those who receive financial stability through legal means. Criminal behavior began to show at the average age of 12.
The type of criminal behavior was mainly exercised through dealing drugs, theft, and prostitution. The average age of arrest among the women is 19 and had and average of 15 previous arrests and 8 prior prison/jail sentences. The drugs (most reporting on daily usage) used the most frequent was cocaine/crack, marijuana, amphetamines, and opiates. The average number of children had by the group was 3.
3 and an estimated 2.8 of those children are less than the age of 18. The procedure reveals that the FOTEP analysis is a “quasi-experimental”, which is an empirical study used to evaluate the impact of an involvement of a set population.
The data gathered from the women came from the initial inmate intake procedure and consisted of questions prior to their arrest. This group of FOTEP women were invited to take part in the study either previous to their parole or on intake in the FOTEP facility. The staff of this program was required to read a short script, which explains the study’s goals and requirements. The women who were interested in participating were then transferred to a UCLA research team, who then issued the “informed consent procedure” and then took an intake evaluation. UCLA was given permission for the study of the women by their Institutional Review Board due to their approval of the intake recruitment and the forms used to gain consent from the women.
They were then paid $25 for completing the assessment and then scheduled for all of the women to come back for a “follow-up assessment” 12 months from their previous intake assessment. The results were collected data on childhood