In the contemporary society, there are different opinions regarding the effectiveness of incarceration in deterring crime. Critics of incarceration argue that there is a possibility of accelerating the development of anti-social behavior in individuals that are isolated from the society by virtue of their conduct. The environment in which they live may affect accomplishment of the goal of incarceration. This paper presents a critique of the two forms of dealing with drug use in the society, supporting the view that drug rehabilitation is effective than incarceration.
Successful rehabilitation programs usually play an important role in reducing recidivism. The offenders are categorized according to the risk factors of the crime. The risk principle is significant in ensuring that the treatment and control given to the offenders match the level of risk. According to Stover (2001), risk is the possibility of the offender repeating the crime. The low risk offenders are those that have a low possibility of committing the offense for a second time. They are given relatively less intensive supervision and treatment compared to the high risk offenders who are associated with several risk factors, meaning that they have a high probability of re-offending. Incarceration is usually in-effective as regards the level of treatment and supervision given to the offenders. All the prisoners are usually treated in the same way apart from the length of imprisonment. In other words, incarceration is applied on the basis that prisons are the ultimate destiny of offenders at all levels. For example, a person convicted of drug use or rape is treated in the same treatment in the prison whereas rehabilitation would begin by assessing the level of risk to determine the probability of recidivism.
Factors such as moral values, living environment and such conditions that may influence the occurrence of an offence are considered