Peter Anderson

Peter Anderson is a trial court judge in Massachusetts.

Recent Articles

Treatment with Teeth

In the movie Traffic , the recently appointed federal drug czar, played by Michael Douglas, is returning with his advisers on an airplane after viewing an interdiction site on the Mexican border. He asks them to "think outside the box" for a moment. Everyone is silent. He then asks, "What does treatment think?" Again, silence. Douglas then says, "There isn't anybody from treatment on this plane, is there?" The criminal-justice system has been an airplane traveling without anyone from treatment onboard. Treatment has been flying without the courts. Research shows that both need to travel together: Court-enforced treatment is far more effective than both incarceration and voluntary treatment if the goal is to keep addicts from relapsing into drug habits and crime. In my experience as a judge in Massachusetts, I've found that drug courts offer an effective alternative to both the war on drugs and the opposition movement for decriminalization. The former, with its harsh sentences and lack...