Berryessa, C. M. & Chandler, J. (2020). The role of the defense attorney in relation to biological interventions as rehabilitative strategies. Journal of Offender Rehabilitation 59(7): 389- 415.
We present a qualitative analysis, employing semi-structured interviews and grounded theory, on the perceptions of defense attorneys regarding their roles and duties in contexts involving quasi-coercive offers of biological interventions, such as medication-assisted treatment therapies for opiate dependence or chemical castration, as rehabilitative strategies in sentencing. Data are from interviews with a sample of Canadian defense attorneys. We focus our analysis on defense attorneys’ views of their roles and duties as an attorney in contexts involving the decision to consent to biological interventions in the hope of securing favorable sentences, as well as their perceptions and concerns regarding their clients’ interests in these contexts. Our analysis appears to indicate that the classical model of the role and duties of defense lawyers can accommodate the increased use of biological therapies for criminal rehabilitation, and we ultimately discuss broader implications of biological treatments as rehabilitative strategies for the criminal justice system.