Forced Drug Testing

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When crime statistics in America are reviewed, a much higher percentage of crimes are related to illicit drug and alcohol use. Several programs have been established to monitor and document illicit drug and alcohol use amongst defendants and accused criminals.

The Arrestee Drug Abuse Monitoring (ADAM) program was established in 2001 and tests arrestees in thirty-five cities for recent use of illicit drugs. (America?s Courts and the Criminal Justice System).

Powers in the Drug Bill to compulsorily test offenders for illicit drugs at the point of arrest or prior to pretrial could contravene human rights laws. Concerns do exist in that people who have been compulsorily drug tested on arrest or at pretrial are then effectively coerced, by threat of criminal sanctions, into agreeing to treatment before being charged with any criminal offence. (InfoTrac: Drug misuse; forced testing).

When pretrial drug testing is conducted, the assumption is that the most frequent serious offenders are also the heaviest drug users.

A study of three drug-testing programs found no differences in terms of rearrest or failure to appear rates (Visher 1992; Goldkamp and Jones 1992). When research in this field was conducted, it was learned that the best predictor of rearrest turned out to be the number of prior arrests, not drug use. First-time offenders who tested positive for any illicit substance were better risks for release than that of repeat offenders who did not test positive for recent drug use.

(Rhodes, Hyatt, and Scheiman 1996). (America?s Courts and the Criminal Justice System).

Throughout the United States, programs to treat those addicted to alcohol and or illicit drugs are plentiful for those covered by medical insurance but sparse for those without coverage (which tends to be those involved in the criminal justice system). With this in mind, treatment options for drug-dependent arrestees...