Most Prisoners Have Used Drugs!

Most Prisoners Have Used Drugs!
Posted by FoM on January 05, 1999 at 11:46:57 PT

WASHINGTON Seven of every 10 federal prisoners had used drugs prior to their arrests, and one-fifth were on drugs at the time they committed the crime that sent them to prison, the Justice Department reported today. 
In conjunction with the release of the department's Bureau of Justice Statistics figures, which are up from 1991 levels, President Clinton said his fiscal 2000 budget would include $215 million to test and treat prisoners for drug use. ``Drug use stokes all kinds of crime,'' Clinton said today in a White House ceremony. ``It is clear to us that if we're going to continue to reduce the rate of crime we have to do something to avoid releasing criminals with their dangerous drug habits intact.'' If approved by Congress, the money would represent an increase of about $100 million over funds currently available to enforce ``zero tolerance'' of drug use by prisoners, parolees and probationers. White House drug policy director Barry McCaffrey said an untreated addict costs taxpayers about $43,000 per year, while prison-based treatment for an individual's drug use annually costs $2,700. McCaffrey called the president's proposed budget increase ``a no-brainer for smart drug policy, for smart incarceration policy.'' The Justice report found that 70 percent of federal prisoners had used drugs, and 22 percent used them at the time of the offense. In 1991, 60 percent of federal prisoners said they had used drugs, and 17 percent used them at the time of the crime. Percentages of state prisoners using drugs were higher. In 1997, 83 percent said they had used drugs, up from 79 percent in 1991. And 33 percent used them at the time of the crime, up from 31 percent in 1991. Clinton also announced today the release of $120 million in funds already approved for drug-free prison initiatives this year. About $63 million is earmarked for state prisons to provide long-term drug treatment and intensive supervision for prisoners with the most serious drug problems. 
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