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Description and Post-Arrest Outcomes of South Central Iowa Drug Task Force Arrestees

NCJ Number
Date Published
April 2012
34 pages
This study examined the characteristics and outcomes of cases that involved an arrest by the South Central Iowa Drug Task Force between January 1, 2001, and June 30, 2007.
The racial composition of those arrested by the task force (TF) was proportionate to the population of the area covered by the TF, which involved a high percentage of arrests of White persons. The predominant drug in TF cases was methamphetamine, which was anticipated in the type of rural areas where the TF operates. Although nearly 80 percent of TF arrests resulted in convictions, many charges were reduced. Most convictions resulted in community supervision; approximately 23 percent resulted in imprisonment. For those imprisoned, the average time served was 19.9 months. Although only 2 percent of those convicted were in drug treatment at the time of their arrest; 63 percent participated in substance abuse treatment after arrest. This indicates that many offenders entered treatment due to their involvement in the justice system. Most of those who participated in treatment (59 percent) were involved in extended outpatient treatment; however, only 53 percent successfully completed treatment. Those imprisoned were more likely than community-based placements to complete treatment. Recidivism findings indicate that 47 percent of those who were convicted were later arrested for a new criminal offense. Nearly half of recidivist arrests were for drug offenses. Since just over half of the recidivists were arrested for non-drug offenses, this suggests that many of those arrested were criminals who happened to do drugs, rather than addicts who committed crime to help support their drug habit. Offenders who participated in drug treatment had recidivism rates similar to those who did not receive treatment. 55 tables