This paper reports on intake data from Quasi-Compulsory Treatment in Europe, a study of quasi-compulsory treatment (QCT) for drug dependent offenders. It explores the link between formal legal coercion, perceived pressure to be in treatment and motivation amongst a sample of 845 people who entered treatment for drug dependence in five European countries, half of them in quasi-compulsory treatment and half ‘voluntarily’. Using both quantitative and qualitative data, it suggests that those who enter treatment under QCT do perceive greater pressure to be in treatment, but that this does not necessarily lead to higher or lower motivation than ‘volunteers’. Many drug-dependent offenders value QCT as an opportunity to get treatment. Motivation is mutable and can be developed or diminished by the quality of support and services offered to drug-dependent offenders.

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