Financial impact of the drunken offender on the criminal justice system

Date

1972-05

Authors

Allen, Harold Francis,1942-

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Abstract

Purpose: The purpose of this study was to determine the following: (1) the effects of the punitive and legal sanctions of the criminal justice system to control, reduce, and deter the public drunken offender, (2) the financial cost to the City of Dallas to invoke its criminal sanctions against the public inebriate, (3) alternatives to the present method of criminal prosecution of the public drunken offender. Methods: The methods used to obtain the data for this study were: (1) review of the literature to determine those factors which lead to the criminal prosecution of public intoxicants, (2) evaluation of those established programs used to treat and rehabilitate the drunken offender as opposed to criminal prosecution, (3) description of the present method used by the City of Dallas in dealing with the drunken offender, and (4) development of cost analyses for the drunken offender as he is processed through the criminal justice system of Dallas, Texas. Findings: 1. The legal and punitive approaches of the criminal justice system has not been successful in terring, controlling, and reducing the incidents of public drunkenness. 2. The large majority of arrests for public drunkenness involve individuals who are classified as alcoholics. 3. Alcoholics are sick persons who are victims of a disease which might be cured if adequate treatment were rendered. 4. Treatment and rehabilitation programs could be successful in dealing with alcoholic offenders. 5. The drunken offender is a burden to the police, courts and correctional institutions of this county. Their complete financial impact is immeasurable. 6. The criminal justice system is trying to resolve a problem which is basically a public health issue. 7. The financial impact of the drunken offender is substantial to the City of Dallas with no return on its investment of man hours, resources, and facilities to combat this problem. The mean costs for processing one drunk and disorderly offender through the criminal justice system of Dallas is $48.32 and the median costs is $52.14. These costs are considered minimal. 8. Alternatives must be developed to the present approach of criminal prosecution of the drunken offender. These alternatives must provide for the treatment and rehabilitation of those offenders classified as alcoholic.

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Keywords

Alcoholism and crime

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