FRIDAY, MARCH 21, 1997202/307-0703



WASHINGTON, D.C. -- The Justice Department today awarded almost $27.8 million to all 50 states, five territories and the District of Columbia to support drug programs in state and local correctional facilities. The Residential Substance Abuse Treatment (RSAT) formula grant program, administered by the Corrections Program Office in the Office of Justice Programs, provides funding authorized by President Clinton's 1994 Crime Law.

"Programs that provide drug testing, sanctions and treatment are critical to breaking the cycle of drug use and crime among offenders," said Attorney General Janet Reno. "If we can get an offender off drugs, we can save countless people from becoming future crime victims."

The RSAT program assists states and units of local government in developing and implementing substance abuse treatment programs in state and local prisons and jails. States are encouraged to adopt comprehensive approaches to substance abuse testing and treatment for offenders, including relapse prevention and aftercare services. Each offender will spend between 6 and 12 months in treatment, which is the amount of time research tells us is needed for these programs to work.

"OJP is pleased to award these drug treatment grants to the states and territories for a second year," said Assistant Attorney General Laurie Robinson. "From our own National Institute of Justice research, we are confident this funding can have a real impact on changing behavior of inmates--and actually reducing drug use and criminal activity."

Drug testing is a key element to the success of any substance abuse treatment strategy. States that apply for funding must agree to implement or continue to require reliable forms of drug and alcohol testing of individuals assigned to treatment programs in correctional facilities. In addition, states are encouraged to give preference to programs that provide aftercare services to participants. These aftercare services coordinate the correctional treatment program with other human service and rehabilitation programs, such as education and job training, parole supervision, halfway houses and self-help/peer group programs that may aid in rehabilitation.

According to the 1995 Drug Use Forecasting Annual Report on Adult and Juvenile Arrestees, published by the Justice Department's National Institute of Justice, an average of 63 percent of adult male arrestees test positive for drugs. The proportion of drug-using offenders among the 1.4 million inmates in state prisons and local jails is even higher, but less than 20 percent of prison inmates actually participate in drug treatment programs. According to recent studies, cost-effective drug testing and treatment programs consistently reduce recidivism rates for offenders.

Additional information about the Office of Justice Programs and its Corrections Program Office is available at http:\\

Attached is a list of the 1997 RSAT grant recipients.

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OJP 97-031

After hours contact: James Phillips at 888/582-6750 (pager)