Treatment and Punishment of Drug-Addicted Offenders: Insights from a Quantitative Empirical Survey

  • Christoph WeberEmail author
  • Stefan Schumann
  • Richard Soyer
Part of the SpringerBriefs in Criminology book series (BRIEFSCRIMINOL)


Although the drug legislation within Europe broadly ranges from permissive to strongly restrictive approach to personal use of illegal drugs, in most European countries legislation follows a treatment-oriented not repressive approach to drug-addicted offenders. However, the attitudes of professionals from the judicial system who are in charge of ordering quasi-compulsory treatment (QCT) for drug offenders and also the attitudes of professionals immediately involved in the treatment of drug-addicted offenders are essential for an efficient functioning of the QCT system. This chapter reports the results from a quantitative empirical survey on the attitudes of professionals from the judicial system and the treatment system in Austria, Spain, and Poland. The main focus of the survey was on treatment orientation and repressive attitudes. The results indicate that in general professionals from the judicial system strongly believe in drug control through punishment than professionals from the treatment system. However, a significantly treatment-oriented approach as it is applied in Spain seems to convince professionals involved both from the judicial system and from the treatment sector. Further, results show for all countries that there are major problems in the cooperation between the treatment sector and the judicial system.


Permissiveness, restrictiveness, treatment orientation Decisive factors on treatment or punishment Quasi-compulsory treatment Attitudes of public prosecutors, judges, and therapists Missing cooperation and interprofessional misunderstandings 


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Christoph Weber
    • 1
    Email author
  • Stefan Schumann
    • 2
  • Richard Soyer
    • 2
  1. 1.University of Education Upper AustriaLinzAustria
  2. 2.Department for Corporate Criminal Law and Criminal JusticeJohannes Kepler University LinzLinzAustria

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