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Relationship Between Type of Drug Use and Arrest Charge in an Arrested Population (From Drug Use and Crime Report of the Panel on Drug Use and Criminal Behavior, P 409-418, 1976 - See NCJ-40293)

NCJ Number
D C McBride
Date Published
As part of the appendix to the Drug Use and Crime Report, the paper examines the extent and type of drug use in an arrested population in Dade County, Fla., the types of crime engaged in by types of drug users, and the proportion of each type of crime accounted for by types of drug users.
Information was collected from 5,993 arrestees in Dade County, Fla., between April 1974 and March 1975 on drug use history and current arrest charges. Drug use patterns examined were ever, regular use (at least weekly for a 6-month period), and current use (using the substance within the last 2 weeks). An arrest charge index ranked the seriousness of six categories of crimes: serious crimes against persons (homicide, manslaughter, forcible rape, and aggravated assault), less serious crimes against persons (assault and battery, statutory rape, and child molestation), property crimes (breaking and entering, grand larceny, auto theft, arson, forgery, counterfeiting, passing worthless checks, etc.), income-producing victimless crimes (prostitution, commercial vice, gambling) and other offenses. Four drug use indices were used to measure drug use patterns. Regardless of the indices used or whether ever, regular, or current use was analyzed, the relationships between drug users and crimes are consistent. Drug users, especiallly those who use narcotics and cocaine, are more likely to commit armed robbery and property crimes. They compose the minority of those arrested for crimes against the person and the majority of those arrested for nothing more serious than armed robbery or property crimes. Narcotics users are overrepresented in these two crime categories. Those who use hard drugs are more likely to engage in incomeproducing crimes against indivduals and property. Four tables and 11 references are included. (Author abstract modified).