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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 119585 Find in a Library
Title: Pretrial Drug Testing: Expanding Rights and Protecting Public Safety
Journal: George Washington Law Review  Volume:57  Issue:4  Dated:(March 1989)  Pages:943-957
Author(s): R B Abell
Date Published: 1989
Page Count: 15
Type: Legislation/Policy Analysis
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: Pretrial drug testing is a constitutionally legitimate practice that protects the traditional notions of bail within Eighth Amendment guidelines and serves the public as an early warning system by indicating when those released before trial repeat their drug usage and thus the crimes necessary to support their habits.
Abstract: Thus, it provides the offender with an incentive to stay free of drugs and identifies the individuals who need drug treatment. It also serves the judiciary by providing the data they want for objective decisionmaking. Finally, it promotes the longstanding principle of liberty that allows detention by the government only in appropriate cases. It is legitimate under Fifth, Fourth, and Eighth Amendment analyses. NIJ funded a model pretrial testing program in the District of Columbia under the Justice Assistance Act of 1984. All arrestees are asked for urine samples at 7 a.m. so that results will be available for bail magistrate sessions by 11 a.m. The results are used only to determine the terms of pretrial release and not at trial as evidence related to the underlying charge, including drug offenses. Magistrates may require surveillance testing of those who test positive and are released, order testing as a condition of admission into treatment, or require a defendant who tests positive to appear for a one-time drug test at some point before trial. Figures and 87 footnotes.
Main Term(s): Pretrial drug testing
Index Term(s): Rights of the accused; Services effectiveness
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