As a function of these preconceived notions, it was enlightening to read the article from the perspective of someone that had little to no background knowledge of the issue seeking to shed a level of light onto the very same question which the authors of the research grappled with. As a means of presenting the piece, the authors begin be listing the shortcomings that prior research has had with regards to the topic in question. The researchers break down these shortcomings into a listing of five key failures. Firstly, the authors state the preceding studies have utilized “seriously deficient measurements of criminality” as a means to draw inference on the question of whether drug usage ultimately leads to higher rates of criminality. Secondly, the authors state that another fundamental shortcoming of prior research has been the “preoccupation with single cause issues”; oftentimes types of analysis that lend themselves to “chicken or the egg” type questions. Thirdly, the authors state that the use of captive samples of narcotics users has weakened the intellectual rigor that has been displayed in a host of other prior studies. Fourthly, the authors note that the failure to apply a measurement of criminality over time has led to the research lending incomplete results that necessarily favor one dimensional approaches to the research question. Fifthly, the studies that have gone before have fundamentally ignored applying key determinants of criminality to their research questions and/or findings. As a function of all of these shortcomings, the authors set out to discuss criminality and drug use within the confines of understanding the shortcomings that past studies have implemented and seeking to avoid these at all costs.
Rather than approaching the topic from the standpoint of assuming that addicts are criminals by nature or taking the converse view that addicts are merely enslaved individuals and cannot be held fully accountable for the level of criminality that they exhibit, the authors set out to study criminality at nearly every time frame within the drug users lifespan. Rather than merely sampling a group of offenders who had been caught and imprisoned for one particular crime or another, the researchers set out to broaden the sampling to include a much wider population of drug users. In this way, even those individuals that are not currently serving time or had served time in the past are included in the study; providing for a much broader range of inputs which can help inform the results. What the study found was, as one might assume, there was a major correlation between drug usage and criminality. However, the reason for this correlation is somewhat more complex than merely seeking to provide a level of inference based upon the primary research question (Bennett et al 109). As a result of the research that has been performed within the article in question, this author has been able to more effectively answer the question related the actual correspondence of drug usage to criminal behavior. However, it should be noted, as the authors themselves note, although there seems to be a direct linkage between the two, the level to which this linkage can be understood as a function of policy changes, drug legalization, or rehabilitation is much more complex than merely stating that the correlation between drug use and crime exists. In such a way, and to such an extent,