Office of National Drug Control Policy

ONDCP Excel Fifty-Fifth Row

Action Item Number: 
Action Item Name: 
Support Drug Testing With Certain and Swift Sanctions in Probation and Parole Systems
Action Item Description: 

Offenders whose criminal behavior is driven primarily by substance abuse represent the “low-hanging fruit” among recidivists.

Read more
  Their criminal behavior and drug use, monitored by regular drug tests, can be altered through the consistent application of swift, certain, but modest sanctions, as demonstrated by numerous testing and sanctions programs administered by courts. Research on testing and sanctions sponsored by the OJP has begun to show consistently positive results for such programs in a court setting (e.g., Project HOPE). NIJ recently funded an evaluation of the Delaware Department of Correction’s new “Decide Your Time” program, which is also based on these principles. Potentially, similar results may also be accomplished administratively if probation and parole agencies were given limited authority to impose brief sanctions such as short stints of incarceration. These initiatives have the potential to sharply reduce drug use, crime, and probation revocation, in addition to being able to distinguish those who truly need drug treatment from those who can be induced to stop their drug-taking through other means. The President’s FY 2011 Budget requested $20 million to support “smart probation” programs, building on existing Federal, State, and local efforts. The Administration is committed to evaluating the long-term effects of these types of programs and to funding them, and Federal agencies will continue to look for opportunities to expand them throughout the country in collaboration with State, local, and tribal agencies.

Lead Agency: