Aya Elalami, UCI undergraduate Criminology, Law & Society (CLS) major, received the award for the 2017-2018 Excellent Upper-Division Academic Writing award, and was nominated by Dr. Karna Wong. Aya’s final paper was titled, “Revolutionizing the Criminal Justice System: Reducing the Recidivism Rate for Drug Offenses Away from Incarceration.” The purpose of her study was to evaluate programs that can effectively reduce the drug recidivism rate of narcotic offenders, as well as decrease the amount of people incarcerated for drug offenses in the United States. This study examined how drug recidivism rates can be reduced in the court system through drug courts, drug addiction programs, and employment-focused programs. Analyzing, comparing, and evaluating data from these three programs, there was a lack of solid evidence that employment-focused programs reduce drug reoffending. However, there was compelling evidence that drug courts and addiction programs can effectively reduce reoccurrence rates as well as decrease the number of individuals incarcerated for drug offenses.