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Drug Involvement, Lifestyles, and Criminal Activities Among Probationers

NCJ Number
Journal of Drug Issues Volume: 30 Issue: 3 Dated: Summer 2000 Pages: 593-619
Date Published
27 pages

This article examines relationships among drug use, drug dealing, lifestyles, and crime among probationers.


Interviews with probationers in three Northern Virginia counties disclosed that drug dealing had a positive effect on both property crime and violent crime while drug use had a significant effect only on property crime. A significant number of drug offenders were involved in both use and sale of drugs, which had a powerful effect on other types of criminal activities. The impact of drug use and drug dealing on crime was modified by individual lifestyles. The article discusses theoretical and policy implications of study findings, including the following: (1) Crime control policies aiming at reducing drug-related crimes should be prioritized to target drug traffickers; (2) Policymakers should consider drug use and drug dealing as related events and design policies with specific goals to punish and treat drug offenders who are involved in both use and sale of drugs; and (3) Specific treatment and prevention programs should be created to help drug offenders whose deviant lifestyles make them more likely to engage in criminal activities; those programs should strengthen positive ties to family and community. Tables, figures, appendix, references

Date Published: January 1, 2000