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NCJ Number: 115202 Find in a Library
Title: Identification of Drug Abusing Offenders: A Guide for Practitioners, Draft Report, November 11,1986 (From Workshop on Drugs and Crime, December 1986 -- See NCJ-115196)
Author(s): E D Wish
Date Published: 1986
Page Count: 25
Format: Document
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This paper examines why the systematic identification of drug abusing offenders might be beneficial to the criminal justice system, reviews methods that could be used to identify drug-involved offenders, and examines the legal and ethical issues in urine testing for drug abuse.
Abstract: Some of the reasons why a jurisdiction might choose to identify drug abusing offenders are to target active criminals; protect the public from crimes by persons on pretrial release, probation, or parole; reduce jail or prison overcrowding; reduce drug abuse and crime; address public health problems; and monitor community drug use trends. Four methods of identifying drug using offenders are offenders' self-reports, criminal justice records, urinalysis, and hair analysis. In a criminal justice setting, urinalysis is the most feasible method for screening large numbers of offenders for drug use. One of the legal concerns in using urinalysis is the possible violation of search and seizure law. In this regard, the legality of urine testing will probably depend upon each program's aims and procedures. Some doubt the legality of mandatory drug testing at the pretrial stage, but given the evidence that illicit drug use is prevalent in almost two-thirds of the offender population in Washington, D.C., and in New York City, and the link between drug use and pretrial crime and abscondence, the courts may eventually uphold the legitimacy of mandatory urine testing at the pretrial stage. Another legal issue is the reliability of urine tests, which pertains to due process rights. 49 references.
Main Term(s): Urinalysis
Index Term(s): Drug testing; Right to Due Process; Search and seizure laws
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