Reducing drug related crime

From: "John V. Wilmerding",

Also from New York CURE's Dr. Rudy Cypser: please consider reproducing and

distributing the following other information on research studies:


Dr. James A. Inciardi, "A Corrections-Based Continuum of Effective Drug

Abuse Treatment," National Institute of Justice Research Preview, June 1996


The findings indicate that 18 months after release drug offenders who

received 12-15 months of treatment in prison followed by an additional 6

months of drug treatment and job training were more than twice as likely to

be drug free than offenders who received prison-based treatment alone.

Furthermore, offenders who received both forms of treatment were much more

likely than offenders who received only prison-based treatment to be arrest

free 18 months after release (71% compared with 48 %). Only 30% of a

comparison group was arrest free after 18 months.



Douglas S. Lipton, "The Effectiveness of Treatment for Drug Abusers Under

Criminal Justice Supervision," National Inst. of Justice Research Report,

November 1995.

An evaluation of the New York prison-based Therapeutic Community (TC) (known

as Stay'n Out) conducted in 1984 showed that male participants had arrest

rates of only 26% compared to 40.9% for those having no treatment, and 39.8%

for those having only counseling. Programs like Stay'n Out cost about $3,000

-$4,000 more than standard correctional costs per year.


An evaluation of Oregon's TC (known as Cornerstone) showed that 71% of its

graduates stayed out of prison for 3 years, while only 26% of the dropouts

from the program did so.


The most serious drug users are responsible for a high volume of predatory

crime. Without intervention, this group will return to crime and drug use 9

times out of 10 after release, and most will be back in custody within 3

years. With appropriate intervention provided for a sufficient duration,

more than 3 out of 4 will succeed; that is, reenter the community and

subsequently lead a socially acceptable life.



C. J. Hynes and S. A. Powers, "Drug Treatment Alternative To Prison of the

Kings County District Attorney, Fifth Annual Report of Operations, Oct. 1994

to Oct. 1995."

The Brooklyn, NY Drug Treatment Alternative to Prison (DTAP) program,

diverts prison-bound felony drug offenders to residential drug treatment for

15 to 24 months. The 19% recidivism rate for DTAP's graduates, in contrast

to a 46% rate for similar defendants who did not participate in the program,

is the most recent evidence of DTAP's success.



Rydell and Everinham, "Controlling Cocaine supply vs. Demand Programs," RAND


A RAND study concluded that drug treatment programs are seven times more

cost-effective in reducing cocaine consumption than other programs that aim

at controlling the supply of drugs. The study further concluded that drug

treatment could reduce cocaine consumption by a third if extended to all

heavy users.



Report of the Unified Court Systems Committee on Alternative sanctions,

December 1996.

The Brooklyn Treatment Alternatives to Street Crime (TASC) program places

second felony drug offenders into residential drug treatment, usually for 18

to24 months. After 3 years, the re-arrest rates for offenders who completed

the program in 1991 and 1992 was 6.7 % and 8.2%.


"Longitudinal Study finds Lower Re-arrest Rates in AIP," State of

Connecticut Judicial Branch Sanctions Update, May 1996 Special Edition.

This study measured how offenders from each sample get arrested relative to

the days they are actually in the community. In this way, the number of days

offenders in each sample have the opportunity to be arrested for new crimes

is kept the same. The rates for AIP and DOC are then compared to one another

to produce a ratio.



Drug offenders under 21: AIP graduates had 3 arrests for every 10 arrests in

the DOC sample.


Drug offenders with conviction histories: AIP graduates had 3 arrests for

every 8 arrests in the DOC sample. These AIP clients had less than one

arrest for felonies for every two felony arrests of offenders in the DOC

comparison group.



"Preventing Crime. What Works, What Doesn't, What's Promising," A Report To

The U.S. Congress, University of Maryland, for the U.S. Dept. of Justice,

Office of Justice Programs.

" Substantial scientific evidence shows that drug treatment is an effective

method of reducing both drug use and crime by these offenders. Furthermore,

the criminal justice system can coerce offenders to remain in treatment

longer. The longer they stay in treatment the better they do later, and

those who are coerced do as well as comparisons who volunteer for treatment.

One advantage of Drug Courts is that the court can oversee and supervise the

coordination of the treatment and the community restraint."


"As with Drug Courts, the prison-based substance abuse programs appear to be

a promising way to reduce the drug use and associated criminal activities of

offenders, once they leave prison. In general, the studies of in-prison

therapeutic community programs demonstrated that such programs reduced the

recidivism rates of offenders once they were released."



"Cost Effectiveness of Mandatory Minimums," RAND study.

Spending an additional $1 million on longer sentences for convicted dealers

would reduce the nation's total consumption of cocaine by less than 29

pounds a year. The same $1 million on treating heavy cocaine users would cut

consumption by as much as 220 pounds. For every crime eliminated by X

dollars on mandatory minimum sentences, 15-17 crimes are eliminated by

spending that same amount on treatment of heavy users.


J. P. Caulkins, C. P. Rydell, W. Schwabe, and J. Chiesa, "Mandatory Minimum

Drug Sentences:

Throwing Away The Key Or The Taxpayer's Money?" RAND Study

Spending the money on mandatory minimum sentences for drug dealers can

reduce total national cocaine consumption by 13 kg. Spending it on

conventional enforcement against such dealers cuts use by 27 kg. Spending it

to treat heavy users reduces consumption by over 100 kg. Treatment reduces

about 10 times more serious crime then conventional enforcement and 15

times more than mandatory minimums.



D.R. Gerstein, R.A. Johnson, H.J. Harwood, D.Fountain, N. Suter, and K.

Malloy, "Evaluating Recovery Services: The California Drug and Alcohol

Treatmenjt Assessment (CALDATA)," Calif. Dept. of Alcohol and Drug

Programs, Sacramento, CA, 1994.

Treatment can generate a seven to one return on investment (mostly due to

reduction in crime). Illegal drug use by participants dropped by 40% as a

result of treatment. Hospitalization rates dropped by a third after

treatment. The greater the time spent in treatment, the greater the

reduction in individual criminal activity.



"Preliminary Report: The Persistent Effects of Substance Abuse Treatment -

One Year Later," Center for Substance Abuse Treatment, The National

Treatment Improvement Evaluation Study, U.S. Dept. of Health and Human

Services, Rockville, MD, September 1996.

Clients reported reducing drug use by about 50% in the year following

treatment. Reports of arrest decreased from 48.2 to 17.2 percent comparing

the year before with the year following treatment. Substance abuse-related

medical visits decreased by more than 50 percent and in-patient mental

health visits by more than 25 percent after treatment. So, too, did risk

indicators of sexually-transmitted diseases. Following treatment,

employment rates increased while homelessness and welfare receipts both




C. Peter Rydell and Susan S. Everingham, "Controlling Cocaine: Supply versus

Demand Programs," A joint study by the RAND Corp., the U.S. Army, and the

Office of National Drug Control Strategy.

This study found that treatment is seven times more effective than local

enforcement, eleven times more effective than border interdiction, and

twenty-two times more effective than trying to control foreign production.

This data presented by CURE-NY, P.O. Box 102, Katonah, NY, 10536. Further

information can be found on the internet at http://www.mhv.



Forwarded as a service from Dr. Rudy Cypser of CURE's New York chapter by:


John Wilmerding, Gen'l Secretary | EMail <>


International Secretariat | WWW:


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