THURSDAY, MARCH 26, 1998202/307-0703



WASHINGTON, D.C.-- In its third action this week to promote drug testing and treatment, the Justice Department today announced that all 50 states, the District of Columbia and eligible territories are receiving more than $144 million to continue drug testing and treatment programs and construct or renovate prisons to incarcerate additional violent offenders

Earlier this week, the Department's Bureau of Justice Statistics released a survey that indicates that almost half of the men and women on probation in the United States were under the influence of alcohol or illegal drugs when they committed their offense. On Tuesday, March 24 at an ONDCP conference, the Attorney General stressed the importance of drug testing and treatment for offenders under criminal justice supervision and the proposed legislation to allow states to spend their prison funds for programs that include drug testing and treatment.

"We are committed to making sure those inmates with substance abuse problems get tested and treated. Many of these individuals are caught in a cycle of drug use and crime, which we believe can be broken. With proper intervention, many of these individuals can stop using drugs and committing crimes, which makes our streets safer," said Attorney General Reno."We are also committed to ensuring that there is sufficient prison space to incarcerate serious violent offenders."

The Justice Department's Office of Justice Programs is making the grants being announced today under Tier One of the Violent Offender Incarceration (VOI) program and the Residential Substance Abuse Treatment (RSAT) for State Prisoners program.

Under Tier One of the VOI program, all 50 states, the District of Columbia and eligible territories are receiving funds totaling more than $84 million to construct or renovate prisons to incarcerate additional violent offenders. This is the third year the states and territories are receiving Violent Offender Incarceration/Truth-in-Sentencing (VOI/TIS) funds for this purpose. Each of the 50 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico will receive awards of $1,622,484 and eligible territories will receive $108,166.

This is the last year states can receive Violent Offender Incarceration/Truth-in-Sentencing (VOI/TIS) funds without instituting a comprehensive program of drug testing, sanctions and treatment. The Omnibus Appropriations Act of 1997 (P. L. 104-208) mandates that states implement these strategies as a condition of receiving of FY 1999 VOI/TIS funds. Those states that do not have a comprehensive program of drug testing, sanctions and treatment will not receive any VOI/TIS funds in FY 1999.

At the ONDCP conference on Tuesday, Attorney General Reno announced the Administration had forwarded legislation to the Congress to amend the VOI/TIS statute to allow states to cover the costs associated with their drug testing, sanctions and treatment initiatives.

"The correlation between drug use and crime is well established and we have demonstrated, proven programs to intervene effectively," said Attorney General Janet Reno.

"That's why the Justice Department proposes to allow states, at their discretion, to use a portion of their VOI/TIS funds for their program of testing, sanctions and treatment."

Recent estimates indicate that drug addicts are involved in approximately 3 to 5 times the number of criminal incidents as offenders who do not use drugs. Additional research shows that 75 percent of offenders incarcerated in prisons and over half of those in jails or on probation need some type of substance abuse treatment or intervention, yet only 10 to 20 percent of prison inmates participate in treatment during their incarceration.

States that receive Tier One grants are also eligible to apply for funds under Tiers Two and Three and the Truth-in-Sentencing Grant Program. These additional tiers and truth-in-sentencing grants are based on more stringent requirements regarding the proportion of time inmates convicted of violent crimes actually serve compared to their sentences. Funding decisions related to Tiers Two and Three and Truth-in-Sentencing will be made later this year. States that receive funding under all three tiers can receive no more than nine percent of the funding available for the entire program.

Last year, states received over $467 million under the VOI/TIS program, bringing the program's three year total to more than $940 million. The formula grants being made today will supplement efforts initiated in FY 1996 and 1997.

Forty-nine states, the District of Columbia and eligible territories are receiving over $59.3 million under the Residential Substance Abuse Treatment (RSAT) for State Prisoners program to continue implementing drug intervention and treatment programs in state and local prisons and jails. Recipients will use these funds to enhance ongoing efforts to help offenders stop using drugs and committing crimes to support their addictions.

One recent study in Delaware shows that inmates who complete the state's drug treatment program are three times more likely to be drug-free after 18 months than those who do not complete all stages of treatment.

Offenders who participate in RSAT-sponsored programs are in treatment for 6 to 12 months and must be tested for drug use throughout all phases of the program. The Justice Department encourages states to provide RSAT funds to initiatives that include aftercare, however, states cannot use RSAT funds for the aftercare components. The Justice Department is also proposing a legislative remedy to allow states to use RSAT funds for aftercare.

This is the third year states have received RSAT funds. States received approximately $27.7 million in RSAT funds in FY 1997 and approximately $24.7 million in FY 1996. The RSAT grants being announced today bring the three year total to just over $111.8 million.

Three charts are attached. Chart 1 displays the awards being announced today. Chart 2 provides a breakdowm of the funds each state received under the VOI/TIS program in FY 1996. Chart 3 shows the VOI/TIS breakdown for FY 1997.

Individual summaries are available describing each state's uses of the VOI/TIS funds to date and a local point of contact. The summaries also include contact information for the RSAT program. To obtain copies of these summaries, contact Doug Johnson at 202/307-0703. Copies of the summaries are available online at OJP's homepage, which is listed below.

To obtain additional information about OJP and its programs, visit the agency's homepage at:

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OJP 98-063

After hours contact: Doug Johnson at 888/491-4487 (pager)