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CJB64

Author Jonathan Caulkins and H. John Heinz
Published January 2002
Report Type Crime and Justice Bulletin No. 64
Subject Diversion; Drugs and Drug Courts
Keywords harm reduction, law enforcement, drug policy, drugs

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Summary

Aim

This paper reviews a framework for thinking about harm reduction goals, and illustrates how some harm reduction perspectives are more receptive than others to a prominent law enforcement role.

Abstract

Law enforcement can play a valuable role within a harm reduction paradigm, but this possibility is often overlooked. This paper reviews a framework for thinking about harm reduction goals, and illustrates how some harm reduction perspectives are more receptive than others to a prominent law enforcement role. Five specific roles for law enforcement are then outlined: partnerships with treatment and other interventions, constraining supply, time-focused intervention early in an epidemic, reducing control costs and associated harms, and exploiting drug markets’ inherent adaptability.