Breaking the Cycle

of Substance Abuse and Crime

There is a close relationship between substance abuse and crime. The majority of persons who come into contact with the criminal justice system, regardless of the offense, are substance abusers.

Approximately 73 percent of the 106,139 federal arrests made during fiscal year 1998 were made by Department of Justice law enforcement agencies - the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Immigration and Naturalization Service, the Drug Enforcement Administration and the Marshals Service - according to the Bureau of Justice Statistics' (BJS) report, 1998 Compendium of Federal Justice Statistics, released in May 2000. Almost half of these arrests made during 1998 were for drug or immigration offenses. Treasury Department agencies made 11 percent of the arrests, while other federal agencies, such as the Postal Service and the Defense, Interior, and Agriculture Departments, accounted for the remainder.

Highlights from the 1998 Compendium of Federal Justice Statistics include:

According to another BJS publication, Drug Use, Testing, and Treatment in Jails, released in May 2000, an estimated 10 percent of the inmates tested for drugs in local jails during June 1998 tested positive for one or more illegal drugs. More than two-thirds of the 712 jails that tested inmates had at least one inmate who tested positive. The findings in this report are based on data collected in June 1996 from a representative sample of the nation's jail inmates.

About 54 percent of all inmates were held in jails that tested for illegal drug use. It was found that different jails tested inmates at various times during their incarceration, and they used a variety of criteria to select inmates for testing. Among those facilities that tested, fewer than 5 percent tested all inmates upon admission to jail. About 49 percent of those jails that tested, selected inmates at random, and 69 percent selected inmates for testing upon an indication of drug use. Some jurisdictions also tested all inmates upon entry into a facility after an absence for activities such as work release, furlough, or court visit.

The report also found that among the sanctions that jails impose on inmates who tested positive, 70 percent usually took away inmate privileges, such as visitation rights, recreational activities, and freedom to move about the facility, and about half took away good time or reclassified the offender to a higher security level.

Other findings in the report include:

Among those inmates surveyed who had pled guilty or had been convicted of an offense, 36 percent were under the influence of drugs at the time of the offense. In 1998 almost 72,000 were under the influence of marijuana or hashish and 59,000 were under the influence of powder or crack cocaine. BJS reported that, in interviews with convicted jail inmates, 16 percent said they committed their offenses to get money for drugs. Two-thirds of all convicted jail inmates were actively involved with drugs prior to their admission to jail. Among convicted jail inmates who were actively involved with drugs prior to their going to jail, 20 percent said they had received treatment or participated in a substance abuse program since their admission.

COMBATING THE METHAMPHETAMINE PROBLEM Collaboration among agencies responsible for education, public health, law enforcement, and public safety is critical to implementing effective responses to the growing meth-amphetamine problem, according to the findings of the final report of the Methamphetamine Interagency Task Force.

The National Institute of Justice (NIJ), along with the Office of National Drug Control Policy, released the report, Methamphetamine Interagency Task Force Final Report, in Washington, DC at the 68th Winter Meeting of the U. S. Conference of Mayors. The report describes the methamphetamine problem; needs and recommendations in the areas of law enforcement, prevention and education, and treatment; and research priorities to advance the understanding of the nature and effects of the methamphetamine problem and to measure the effectiveness of prevention, enforcement, and treatment interventions. A final section discusses promising strategies and recommendations for the federal government to assist communities in combating methamphetamine.

In FY 2000, Congress appropriated $35,675,000 to the Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) to help state and local law enforcement in combating meth-amphetamine production, distribution, and use. These funds can also be used to reimburse the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) for properly removing and disposing of hazardous materials found at clandestine methamphetamine laboratories. BJA, in cooperation with the COPS Office and the DEA, administered $16,275,000 for the FY 2000 Methamphetamine/Drug Hot Spots Program. Between August 2000 and February 2001, BJA awarded 18 grants totaling $12,214,837. Awards were delayed because of the grantees' need to address environmental considerations and assurances of their ability to comply with the laws and regulations. BJA also provided $150,000 in funding to support nationwide training in multi-agency responses to methamphetamine laboratories. Additionally BJA funded Circle Solutions to update training on clandestine lab enforcement and cleanup issues, with special emphasis on the needs of agencies in high intensity drug trafficking areas. The COPS Office retained two earmarks, $18.2 million for the California Department of Justice and $1.2 million for a Tri-State Methamphetamine Training Program, based in Iowa, which addresses a broad array of law enforcement initiatives pertaining to the investigation of methamphetamine trafficking in many heavily impacted areas of the country.

To ensure that the investigation and cleanup of methamphetamine labs does not violate federal environmental and occupational safety laws, BJA, in cooperation with DEA and the COPS Office, devoted substantial effort in explaining to law enforcement agencies the requirements for compliance and providing guidance for programmatic remedies. On April 26, 2000, BJA sponsored such a conference for the Methamphetamine/Drug Hot Spots Program grantees. Further, BJA, in consultation with DEA, developed and published in the Federal Register a program-level environmental assessment with mitigation measures that can be used by any agency undertaking similar investigative programs to ensure compliance with current environmental laws.

In addition, the use of multi-jurisdictional task forces has produced a variety of benefits for law enforcement and adjudication committees, including unprecedented interagency coordination and pooling of resources, the establishment of new systems to facilitate information sharing and intelligence gathering, and improved access to specialized resources. States spent $186 million in FY 2000 on 829 multi-jurisdictional task forces. One of the nation's most effective users of such task forces is the State of Wyoming. The State's Regional Enforcement Teams (RETs) have made investigating and prosecuting the trafficking of methamphetamine a priority. As a result, the number of cases involving methamphetamine has increased 350 percent since 1990. In one case, two RETs worked with the Internal Revenue Service, the Drug Enforcement Administration, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation to shut down a cartel distributing methamphetamine in several counties. This complex investigation, which involved gathering information on a kidnaping, an attempted murder, and multiple co-conspiracies, produced numerous convictions and sentences in federal and state courts.


Over half of adult male arrestees in 34 reporting American cities tested positive for drug use according to data released by NIJ. The report, Arrestee Drug Abuse Monitoring (ADAM) Program: 1999 Annual Report on Drug Use Among Adult and Juvenile Arrestees, found significant differences in the patterns of arrestee drug use by city. For example, the percentage of male arrestees who tested positive for any drug ranged from 50 percent in San Antonio to 77 percent in Atlanta. The range among female arrestees was even more pronounced, from a low of 22 percent in Laredo, Texas, to 81 percent in New York City. These findings emphasize the need for local, comprehensive approaches to address drug use among at-risk individuals. ADAM assists both law enforcement officials and drug treatment providers as they work together to break the cycle of drug use and crime.

The ADAM study found:

Consistently high percentages of overall use among arrestees, however, mask differences in trends for specific drugs and in specific segments of the arrestee population. For example, methamphetamine use among ADAM arrestees is a phenomenon that appears to be concentrated mainly in the Western part of the United States, particularly in Portland, Sacramento, Salt Lake City, San Diego, San Jose, and Spokane, where more than 20 percent of both the male and female arrestee populations tested positive for the drug. Methamphetamine use among juvenile arrestees followed a pattern similar to that of adult arrestees: methamphetamine was more commonly used by females and was most often detected at sites in the West/Southwest.

Data collected under the ADAM program highlight the complex nature of the drug abuse problem and the need for communities to tailor law enforcement, prevention, and treatment efforts to meet local drug problems.

Local efforts to prevent substance abuse by young people were enhanced through nearly $9 million in federal grants awarded to 94 sites, including Boston, Chicago, Detroit and Washington, DC, through the Drug-Free Communities Support Program in September 2000.

The Drug-Free Communities Support Program was created under the Drug-Free Communities Act of 1997 (P.L. 105-20) to strengthen local antidrug coalitions, which include businesses; youth service organizations; health care professionals; and state, local, or tribal government agencies. Each of the coalitions receiving grants has worked together for a minimum of six months on substance abuse reduction initiatives before applying for the grants.

The program, now in its third year of funding, is overseen by the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) in partnership with the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP), the Justice Department agency that administers the grant. ONDCP and OJJDP selected the new sites through a competitive review process from more than 200 applications. In Fiscal Year 1998, ONDCP and OJJDP awarded grants to 93 sites. An additional 124 sites received grants in Fiscal Year 1999. Awards range up to $100,000 for use over a one-year period. The coalitions, which have developed a long-range plan to reduce substance abuse, are required to match grant awards with funding from non-federal sources.

The new program sites represent a cross-section of projects from every region in the nation. Fifty-four are predominantly rural, 24 are predominantly urban, and 13 are predominantly suburban. Further, 10 of these sites include tribal communities. OJJDP is conducting a national evaluation of the Drug-Free Communities Support Program. One of the Centers for the Application of Prevention Technologies, through funding from OJJDP and the federal Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration's Center for Substance Abuse Prevention (CSAP), will also provide the grantees technical assistance to help implement effective community prevention programs. In addition, the Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America (CADCA) provides support to these grassroots organizations.

With the addition of the sites, the grants are funding more than 300 community coalitions of youth, parents, media, law enforcement, school officials, religious organizations, and other community representatives in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. The program, which will allow the coalitions to strengthen their coordination efforts to prevent and reduce young people's illegal use of drugs, alcohol, and tobacco, also encourages citizen participation in substance abuse reduction efforts and disseminates information about effective programs.

The Enforcing the Underage Drinking Laws (EUDL) Program is helping all 50 states and the District of Columbia develop comprehensive and coordinated initiatives to enforce state laws that prohibit the sale of alcoholic beverages to minors and prevent the purchase or consumption of alcoholic beverages by minors. OJJDP awarded FY 2000 block grants of $360,000 each to all states and the District of Columbia. Recipients use these funds to support activities in one or more of three areas: enforcement, public education activities, and innovative programs. OJJDP

selected 11 states and 1 territory to receive FY 2000 discretionary grants: Connecticut, Hawaii, Kansas, Maryland, Maine, Minnesota, Montana, Nevada, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Puerto Rico, and Wisconsin.

OJJDP also funds an extensive training and technical assistance program through the Pacific Institute for Research and Evaluation (PIRE) of Calverton, Maryland and its partners, including Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) of Dallas, Texas; American Indian Development Associates of Albuquerque, New Mexico; the National Crime Prevention Council of Washington, DC; the Police Executive Research Forum of Washington, DC; and the National Liquor Law Enforcement Association of Raleigh, North Carolina. During FY 2000, PIRE provided training and technical assistance to more than 4,000 individuals through a variety of activities. PIRE also continued to operate the Underage Drinking Enforcement Training Center (www.pire.org/categories/TTA.asp) which helps states receiving EUDL funds to focus their efforts on prevention, intervention, and enforcement issues. In addition, OJJDP continues to support a national evaluation of the EUDL program by Wake Forest University School of Medicine in Winston-Salem, North Carolina.

OJJDP also supports the Center for the Study and Prevention of Violence (CSPV) at the University of Colorado, Boulder in helping communities replicate the Life Skills Training (LST) and Technical Assistance Program, a school-based drug prevention initiative to reduce the risks associated with substance abuse. The program motivates youth to make healthy lifestyle decisions by training them to resist peer and media pressures, develop a positive self-image, manage anxiety, communicate effectively, build healthy relationships, and handle social situations with confidence. CPSV works in conjunction with LST and the National Health Promotion Associates, which provides three years of training workshops for all LST instructors (a 2-day, initial training in the first year, and 1 day workshops in the second and third years to train teachers in the booster sessions) and curriculum materials for all LST instructors and students.

In FY 2000, OJJDP awarded $4,964,110 to CSPV to expand its efforts. With this funding, CSPV provided training and technical assistance to an additional 35 sites, bringing the total to 70. The program now serves approximately 280 schools and more than 110,000 students.

ADDRESSING SUBSTANCE ABUSE IN INDIAN COUNTRY In September 2000, the Attorney General addressed the "Indian Self-Determination: Summit on Tribal Strategies to Reduce Alcohol, Substance Abuse and Violence." The summit provided tribal leaders with an opportunity to develop a national agenda on alcohol, substance abuse, and violence for Indian Country. The summit also highlighted promising practices developed by tribal governments and programs. OJP released the report, Promising Practices and Strategies to Reduce Alcohol and Substance Abuse Among American Indians and Alaska Natives, at the summit, which highlights promising programs and initiatives that have proven effective for addressing substance and alcohol abuse problems among American Indians and Alaska Natives. The report is part of an overall effort to develop a comprehensive approach to reduce substance abuse and violence in Indian country.

The programs highlighted represent three types of policy initiatives designed to reduce substance abuse: efforts that control the availability of drugs and alcohol within a tribal jurisdiction; educational and treatment efforts; and efforts that reduce the social and environmental factors that increase the risk of harm to the individual and the community. Programs described in the report include, the Poarch Creek Indian Nation Drug Court Program,

the Pueblo of Zuni Recovery Center, and the Southern Ute Peaceful Spirit Youth Services Program.

In addition to program descriptions, the report also contains a literature review, a selected bibliography, and a listing of resources for further information.


OJP's Drug Courts Program Office (DCPO) awarded more than $25 million to 102 communities to plan, implement, or enhance drug courts in June 2000. Drug courts integrate substance abuse treatment, drug testing, sanctions, and incentives with case processing to place nonviolent drug-involved defendants in judicially supervised rehabilitation programs.

Thirty-eight of the grants - totaling more than $5 million - were made to Native American tribal governments to plan or implement drug courts. These grants help respond to the higher alcohol dependency rates and need for treatment among Native Americans, which was reported in a 1997 study by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA).

Since the drug court grant program was authorized in the 1994 Crime Act, OJP has made approximately 650 grants totaling over $125 million to plan, implement, or enhance drug courts throughout the country. More than 650 drug courts are operating in the United States and more than 425 are being planned. All 50 states have drug courts in operation or in the planning stages. Once limited only to adult offenders, specialized drug courts have been developed for juveniles, families, and persons charged with Driving Under the Influence (DUI) or Driving While Intoxicated (DWI), as well as for tribal court operations.

In addition to the drug courts supported through Drug Court Grant Program funding, all states and communities use their own funds - or a combination of state and local, private, and federal funding - to support drug court programs. Some localities use funding from OJP's Byrne Formula Grant Program, the Local Law Enforcement Block Grants, or the Juvenile Accountability Incentive Block Grants Program, all of which include drug court funding as an allowable purpose area. All drug courts use multiple funding sources, even those that have received Drug Court Grant Program funding.

The Drug Courts Program Office greatly expanded its training efforts in FY 2000 in response to the needs expressed by drug court practitioners. Under the Drug Court Planning Initiative (DCPI), a series of three workshops on planning a drug court is now available directly to interested communities, which no longer need to submit a funding application or provide a 25 percent local match. Communities must assemble a complete drug court team of up to 10 individuals for adult, juvenile, or family drug courts, and team members must attend all training sessions in order to qualify for payment of workshop and travel expenses by DCPO. As a result of this improved access, DCPO was able to train more than 200 communities in planning a drug court in FY 2000 - nearly a 300 percent increase from its previous training capacity. DCPO expects to train an additional 200 communities in FY 2001.

During the past two years alone, DCPO has funded and directed more than 50 training workshops and provided more than 3,500 incidences of technical support and assistance to practitioners in the field. In addition to the drug court planning workshops, training is being developed to serve operational drug courts through a series of single-subject training programs on topics such as team building, management, cultural competency, and technology. Also, the Mentor Drug Court Network is a cadre of 25 experienced drug courts providing referrals that link interested communities with operational drug courts that have agreed to serve as mentors. Over 2,500 persons visited a mentor drug court in the past year; 1,900 of those visits were in conjunction with DCPO training programs.

The Drug Court Clearinghouse, funded by DCPO and operated by American University, supports training and technical assistance efforts, and serves as a repository of statistics and research findings on drug courts. A sampling of the statistics and research findings released by the Clearinghouse in June 2000 indicate continued positive outcomes for drug court graduates and participants:

Determining the effectiveness of drug court programs is an integral part of DCPO's efforts. With DCPO funding, the National Institute of Justice (NIJ) is overseeing a national evaluation program examining the impact of 25 drug courts. The first phase of a retrospective evaluation of the Pensacola, Florida and Kansas City, Missouri drug courts was released in March 2000 and a similar evaluation of the Las Vegas, Nevada and Portland, Oregon drug courts was released the following month.

Findings from these studies include:

DCPO is also committed to helping state and local drug courts obtain outcome information such as recidivism, retention, and relapse, and to evaluate their drug court systems. Through state evaluation and management information systems grant awards, DCPO is currently funding 14 statewide evaluations totaling $3.5 million. DCPO will review and disseminate evaluation findings to the drug court field when the evaluations are completed. In addition, FY 2001 implementation grantees will be required to conduct an outcome evaluation, as well as process evaluation, of their drug court operations.

The combination of funding, training, technical assistance, and evaluation now being implemented by the DCPO will help to maintain strong, effective drug courts throughout the country. Those drug courts can become major assets to public safety, improved operation of the nation's justice systems, and to achieving the goal of breaking the cycle of substance abuse and crime.


OJP awarded grants totaling more than $57 million to all 50 states and eligible territories to continue providing substance abuse treatment for offenders at state and local correctional facilities. The grants were made under the Residential Substance Abuse Treatment (RSAT) for State Prisoners program, which was originally authorized in he Crime Act of 1994, and has