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The White House
For Immediate Release

New Data Highlight Need for Criminal Justice Substance Abuse Treatment, Diversion, and Re-Entry Programs

Chicago, IL– Today, Gil Kerlikowske, Director of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) released the 2009 Arrestee Drug Monitoring (ADAM II) Annual Report at the American Correctional Association Conference in Chicago, Illinois.

ADAM II is a unique Federal data collection program that shows drug use patterns among arrestees that local authorities can use to inform policy decisions.

In each of the ten U.S. counties included in the program, data is collected from adult male arrestees, through voluntary interviews and drug tests, within 48 hours of arrest. This provides a window into drug use behavior among booked arrestees that is not available when persons are detained or incarcerated for longer periods of time.

The 2009 survey reveals that in the 10 participating sites, more than half of study participants tested positive for at least one illicit drug, ranging from 56 percent in Charlotte, NC to 82 percent in Chicago, IL. Among arrestees who reported drug use in the prior 12 months:

  • Only 1 to 10 percent, depending on location, report receiving outpatient drug or alcohol treatment in the past year;
  • Just 2 to 10 percent report receiving inpatient or residential substance abuse treatment in the past year; and
  • Only 1 to 3 percent report receiving inpatient mental health or psychiatric treatment.

“The ADAM II data released today, underscore the need to break the cycle of drug use, arrest, and incarceration,” said Gil Kerlikowske, Director of National Drug Control Policy. “The need for treatment for those addicted to drugs does not disappear once they enter the criminal justice system, and in fact, the ADAM II findings highlight the serious need for more substance abuse and mental health treatment behind the walls and within our probation and parole systems.”

“Illinois Department of Corrections (IDOC) Director Michael P. Randle said that providing offenders with the tools to succeed when they are released from prison is a top priority for the Department. “We know that ex-offenders who are no longer substance abusers are less likely to return to the prison system. We work to provide the programming to help facilitate that positive outcome for our inmate population.”

The National Drug Control Strategy highlights several key principles for breaking the cycle of drug use, crime, delinquency, and incarceration including: providing communities with the capacity to prevent drug-related crime; developing infrastructure to promote alternatives to incarceration when appropriate; and using community corrections programs to monitor and support drug-involved offenders.

Specifically, the Strategy:

  • Promotes the use of drug, veterans, re-entry and other types of problem-solving courts to break the cycle of drug use and crime;
  • Supports efforts to expand innovative probation and parole systems that have shown great promise for reducing drug use and recidivism;
  • Encourages drug testing combined with swift, certain and moderate sanctions, such as weekends in jail, which can be effective when consistently and reliably imposed;
  • Endorses cost-effective, research-tested diversion programs as a way to reduce drug use, crime, and recidivism;
  • Promotes mandated drug treatment or intensive court monitoring to address chronic drug users, wherever possible and legally allowable; and
  • Supports re-entry and recovery support programs that are effective in reducing recidivism and assist those who have paid their debt to society transition back into their communities.

The President’s FY 2011 Budget proposal includes $10 million for prosecution-led drug treatment alternatives to incarceration and $10 million to address the gaps in substance abuse treatment for adults under community supervision.

The National Drug Control Strategy provides a blueprint for better utilizing the criminal justice system to reducing drug abuse and its consequences. Law enforcement, the medical community, and all levels of government have a role to play in restoring the lives of our Nation’s individuals and families.