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Impact of System Wide Drug Testing in Multnomah County, Oregon

NCJ Number
184409
Date Published
Agencies
NIJ
Publication Series
Annotation
To learn more about the effects of drug testing programs on criminal activity and compliance with court orders and to understand how such programs could effectively operate, the National Institute of Justice sponsored a process and impact evaluation of an 18-month demonstration Drug Testing and Evaluation (DTE) program in Multnomah County, Ore.
Abstract
The evaluation examined DTE's distinct components: the Pretrial Release and Supervision Program and the postsentence program for probationers and parolees. The results indicate that probation and parole officers believed drug testing has provided them with an effective case management tool; however, analysis of subsequent arrest records showed no significant decrease in rearrest rates associated with participation in the DTE program. Use of DTE during pretrial release did not result in fewer arrests among defendants assigned to drug testing than among defendants not referred to testing. Differences in the way corrections officers responded to offenders who violated drug testing requirements also did not affect recidivism. According to the study, the absence of measurable effects on participants' behavior may have resulted from the DTE program's scarcity of resources: the lack of capacity for penalizing violations of testing conditions and the limited availability of treatment slots.
Date Created: March 16, 2015