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NCJ Number: 151342 Add to Shopping cart Find in a Library
Title: War on Drugs: Arrest Burdening Local Criminal Justice Systems
Corporate Author: US Government Accountability Office
General Government Division
United States of America
Date Published: 1991
Page Count: 66
Sponsoring Agency: Azimuth Inc.
Fairmont, WV 26554
National Institute of Justice/
Rockville, MD 20849
NCJRS Photocopy Services
Rockville, MD 20849-6000
US Government Accountability Office
Washington, DC 20548
Publication Number: GAO/GGD-91-40
Sale Source: Azimuth Inc.
1000 Technology Drive, Suite 3120
Fairmont, WV 26554
United States of America

National Institute of Justice/
NCJRS paper reproduction
Box 6000, Dept F
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United States of America

NCJRS Photocopy Services
Box 6000
Rockville, MD 20849-6000
United States of America
Document: PDF
Type: Legislative Hearing/Committee Report
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: Results of an examination of drug crime problems in selected cities are presented.
Abstract: As the result of a request from the Chairman of the Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations, Committee on Governmental Affairs of the U.S. Senate, this report examines the efforts being taken to address drug crime problems in four large and four small cities: Los Angeles and Madera, California; Atlanta and Waynesboro, Georgia; Boston and North Adams, Massachusetts; and Detroit and Adrian, Michigan; limitations of the State and local criminal justice systems in each of these cities; and options and implications for government policy to address the drug problem. The review occurred from May 1989 through December 1990. Methodology included interviews with various State and local officials including representatives of police and sheriffs' departments, prosecutors, courts, jails/prisons, probation and parole offices, and public health departments. Results of the review reveal that the eight cities are taking actions to cope with overcrowding in their respective criminal justice systems that can be categorized into three groups: approaches that endeavor to expand the system through the construction of new prisons and jails, requiring a larger budget outlay; approaches that attempt to maintain the system, including jails and prisons, at its present size while minimizing any additional cost, e.g., downgrading offenses to misdemeanors, increasing the use of plea bargaining, probation and parole, and early release programs; and approaches that employ alternative and nontraditional methods that aim to make the system more efficient while maintaining effectiveness, e.g., house arrest with electronic monitoring, boot camps, work furloughs, and pretrial diversion to community service or treatment centers. The report urges additional research and programmatic evaluations that measure the effectiveness of options relative to the four purposes of correction and sentencing: deterrence, punishment, public safety, and rehabilitation. Results of the research indicate the need for conveying to potential drug offenders that they will be held accountable for their illegal activities. Emphasizing any one segment of the criminal justice system without considering the impact on other segments, however, is not likely to improve overall efficiency. Five appendixes include a State-by-State review of the drug enforcement efforts and a listing of major contributors to this report.
Main Term(s): Drug law offenses
Index Term(s): Courts; Criminal justice system effectiveness; Drug Related Crime; Police; Police effectiveness; Statistics
Note: This is the Report to the Chairman, Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations, Committee on Governmental Affairs, U.S. Senate.
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