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On-Charge Drug Testing: Evaluation of Drug Testing in the Criminal Justice System

NCJ Number
Stuart Deaton
Date Published
12 pages
This British study identifies the key benefits, challenges, and best practice in implementing and maintaining the drug testing of arrestees at the time of charging.
The study findings were drawn from the ongoing evaluation of the Drug Testing Pilots, which began in three sites in the fall of 2001 and were extended to another six sites in the summer of 2002. The objectives of the drug testing authorized under the Criminal Justice and Court Services Act 2000 are to reduce drug misuse and offending while under criminal justice supervision by identifying offenders who should be receiving treatment and monitoring. The assumption is that drug testing will further encourage problematic drug users to enter treatment, thereby reducing their drug misuse and offending. The evaluation of drug testing in the pilot sites produced recommendations in the areas of leadership and interagency cooperation, stakeholder engagement, and monitoring and improvement activity. In the area of leadership and interagency cooperation, this report recommends the selection of a lead project manager with sufficient time and skills to build upon effective existing partnerships and other related initiatives. This leader should recognize the impact that drug testing will have on a wide variety of stakeholders and should gain the commitment of these stakeholders to the drug-testing regimen. Such commitment will be facilitated by clear consistent messages regarding the planned benefits of drug testing. Monitoring mechanisms must be implemented for all program elements to ensure that the standards set for the testing program are achieved. A case study, 2 appended tables, and a listing of 3 relevant Web sites