Friday, January 22, 2010

Drug Court Humonetarianism

Reuters has a fascinating article here on drug courts, empathy, and the monetization of humanitarianism. The author discusses shifting economic priorities in the war on drugs.

Contextually, it begins with Judge Gorsalitz's drug court in Kalamazoo, MI. The writer's title, "America's new touchy-feely war on drugs," and tone suggest amusement or even contempt for the drug-court approach, but then the litany of drug war harms and legalization benefits belies a different understanding.

The piece favors Judge Aim's Project Hope in Hawaii, which saves money by making drug treatment voluntary not mandatory, and uses penalties of short jail stays instead of reinstating full sentences. Of course, here in the City&County of SF we have Judge Albers's Community Justice Center -- for its drug court context see Prof. Aviram's post here.

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