skip navigation


Register for Latest Research

Stay Informed
Register with NCJRS to receive NCJRS's biweekly e-newsletter JUSTINFO and additional periodic emails from NCJRS and the NCJRS federal sponsors that highlight the latest research published or sponsored by the Office of Justice Programs.

NCJRS Abstract

The document referenced below is part of the NCJRS Virtual Library collection. To conduct further searches of the collection, visit the Virtual Library. See the Obtain Documents page for direction on how to access resources online, via mail, through interlibrary loans, or in a local library.


NCJ Number: 104213 Find in a Library
Title: Crime File: Drug Testing
Series: NIJ Crime Files
Corporate Author: Police Foundation
United States of America
Date Published: 1986
Sponsoring Agency: National Institute of Justice (NIJ)
Washington, DC 20531
National Institute of Justice/NCJRS
Rockville, MD 20850
Police Foundation
Washington, DC 20036
US Dept of Justice NIJ Pub
Washington, DC 20531
Sale Source: National Institute of Justice/NCJRS
Audiovisual Sales
Box 6000, Dept F
Rockville, MD 20850
United States of America
Document: PDF (Study Guide)|Video (27:57)
Type: Program/Project Description
Format: Video (Online)
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: James Q. Wilson moderates a panel of three (Jay Carver, Director of the D.C. Pretrial Services Program; Elizabeth Symmonds, attorney with the Capitol Area Affiliate of the American Civil Liberties Union; and Dr. Eric Wish, a drug researcher)
Abstract: A film clip describing the District of Columbia's drug testing program, a part of the Pretrial Services Program, illustrates methods used to secure and test initial and followup urine samples of arrestees, explaining that results of the tests, conducted in the courthouse, are presented to the judge before arraignment and used in making a pretrial release decision. Mr. Carver cites statistics indicating that persons testing positive for drug use are 50 percent more likely to miss their court date than those not testing. Furthermore, according to Carver, using drug use as a criterion, more people are released pending trial than under bail. Symmonds questions the accuracy of these statistics. She calls the testing intrusive on arrestees still not having been found guilty of a crime, argues that these tests should be confirmed by another testing method, and suggests that judges, faced with appparently 'scientific' data, will use drug test results in making a pretrial decision to the exclusion of other more 'soft' data, such as the arrestee's family situation. Dr. Wish discusses the drug-crime link, noting studies showing drug use increases the number of crimes committed by an individual. He explores the possibility of mandatory drug testing as a sentence condition to counter committing further crime.
Main Term(s): Drug testing
Index Term(s): Corrections decisionmaking; District of Columbia; Drug Related Crime; Pretrial programs; Pretrial release
Note: Beta, VHS and 3/4 format, 28 minutes, color National Institute of Justice Crime File II Series
To cite this abstract, use the following link:

*A link to the full-text document is provided whenever possible. For documents not available online, a link to the publisher's website is provided. Tell us how you use the NCJRS Library and Abstracts Database - send us your feedback.