Printer Friendly
The Free Library
23,403,340 articles and books


DRUG TESTING.

Editor's Note: A respondent from Massachusetts noted in his comments that when asking questions regarding substance abuse testing, it is recommended that the number of samples collected and the number of tests performed from those samples be queried. He noted that some agencies may conduct 10 or more tests on one sample and, therefore, asking for the number of tests alone would not give a clear indication of the number of inmate samples collected. He adds that more advanced programs conduct multiple tests on each sample based on intelligence information, inmate background and substance abuse trends in their jurisdictions. His comments are offered for consideration as you read the responses from the 45 U.S. jurisdictions and six Canadian systems.

Inmates and Drug Testing

Initial drug testing schedules are varied. Sixteen U.S. jurisdictions report that they conduct testing at physicians' requests, 16 as directed by staff, 36 randomly, 14 on a routine basis and 34 for cause. Other reasons for testing included being a suspect, being in an intensive treatment program, exhibiting disciplinary problems, committing assaults or suffering injuries, or at scheduled intervals. The testing procedures are similar in Canada, except for New Brunswick, which does not conduct testing.

After intake, testing for drugs is conducted annually by one U.S. system, quarterly by one, monthly by 21 and weekly by six. Those tests are performed randomly by 41 systems, based on a previously positive incident by one system and on a target list by another. Both Idaho and Montana have not established testing cycles and Montana contracts out its testing/treatment services.

The primary reasons for testing after intake are: for inmates in specialized treatment programs, for cause, for suspicion, for furlough-related situations, as a pre requisite for custody upgrading, being in a work release/day reporting setting, or prior to a transfer. In Arizona, 100 percent of inmates in treatment programs are tested regularly. Out of Canada's reporting provinces, Manitoba does not conduct tests after intake.

U.S. respondents purported to conduct 1,589,782 drug tests, though numbers were not specified in Maine, North Dakota or Oklahoma. It should be assumed that each of those tests were single-sample and not multiple-specimen, as mentioned in the comments from Massachusetts. Those testing positive ranged from less than 1 percent in Connecticut, Oregon, Texas and Washington to 11 percent in Vermont. Survey results indicated that drug-positive cases are decreasing, as reported by 24 states. In eight states, however, the results show an increase and in seven others, it remained about the same.

Privileges and Restrictions

Privileges are reduced in nearly all the reporting systems, primarily involving visitation rights. The elimination of contact visits was evident in 13 states and complete loss of visiting privileges in 11 others. Housing segregation/cell restriction is used in 36 states. Other restrictions of note are the possible loss of good-time credits; reclassification to a higher custody level; tentative parole-month extension; loss of job; fines; restitution for drug testing materials; loss of personal property and clothing; attendance at special events, such as open houses, music concerts, etc.; restricted correspondence; and referral for prosecution in extreme cases.

Treatment

Twenty-nine states use therapeutic communities to treat drug abuse cases. Transfers to medical facilities are made by eight systems and to specialized treatment programs by 19 others, including both Alcohol and Narcotics Anonymous. In Wisconsin, therapeutic communities are a means of treatment for females, the mentally ill and males with lengthy drug abuse and criminal histories. Counseling/education sessions are conducted in nine systems and California identifies aftercare as a condition of parole.

Correctional Officers And Drug Testing

Testing of correctional officer applicants is conducted during prehire status in 33 states and as part of on-the-job-training in 29. New Jersey, New York and Utah also test those in their academies, while Texas tests solely in its academy. Ten states do not test applicants for drug use, but Wyoming has developed a policy that is not yet in effect. Ten jurisdictions do not conduct follow-up testing of their correctional officers and of those that do test, 17 are scheduled at random, 13 for suspicion or for cause and seven states only test staff involved in transportation. In scheduled after-hire testing, 7 percent were identified as testing positive, yet the survey results indicated a decrease, as was the case for inmates being tested. Eight states noted an increase or remained the same.

Sanctions imposed by 31 jurisdictions on correctional officers testing positive for drug use do not allow the hiring of those applicants (no future consideration may be given in the District of Columbia or New Jersey) or, after hire, offending officers are terminated from employment in 30 states, suspended for a specified time in two states and placed on sick leave/vacation status in another. Nine states actively use their own employee assistance programs for treatment. Both Ohio and Oklahoma offer a "last chance" agreement as part of their sanctions and a post-decertification is mandated in Utah.

Administrative/Support Staff and Drug Testing

Twenty-four systems do not test administrative or support staff for drug use. The percentage of positive test results from those that conduct testing range from zero in Colorado, Maryland, New Jersey and Pennsylvania to 100 percent in California. However, it must be noted that California only tested two staff members during the reporting period. As in the categories of inmates and correctional officer staff, the trend is decreasing for those administrative and support staff testing positive. Sanctions for this group include termination in 23 states, suspension or placement on sick/vacation leave in two states, counseling and education in one system, and employee assistance programs in nine others. A "last chance" option is offered in one state. Georgia reports that classified employees can appeal to the state personnel board within 10 days after termination and request a review within three days; unclassified employees must wait two years before making such a request. By state law, New Jersey correctional employees are barred permanently from future law enforcement in any capacity.

Prevention Methods

Canines are primarily used to eliminate the infiltration of drugs in 41 jurisdictions. Other methods being used are heightened visibility of correctional officers in visiting areas, spot searches, ion scanning and hair analysis, phone monitoring and bans on foodstuff in Oklahoma and outside packages in Massachusetts. Also mentioned were the loss of visitation privileges and changes to noncontact visitations as previously noted.

Advantages/Disadvantages Of Drug Testing

The relative costs involved and the time necessary to conduct the testing were cited as the primary disadvantages for conducting drug tests, while the advantages centered on the resultant safer environments. Inmate violence is believed to be reduced and testing overall is considered a proven deterrent.

DRUG TESTING -- PART 1: INMATES AND DRUG ABUSE

DRUG TESTING -- PART 2: CORRECTIONAL OFFICERS AND DRUG ABUSE

[TABULAR DATA NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII]

DRUG TESTING -- PART 3: ADMINISTRATIVE/ SUPPORT STAFF
 SYSTEM ANNUAL TESTS PERCENT TRENDS / COMMENTS
 PERFORMED (1)

ALABAMA

ALASKA

ARIZONA None N/A No data available

ARKANSAS Combined, 2.1% Not specified
 2,811 combined

CALIFORNIA 2 100% No data available

COLORADO 120 0% Remains the same

CONNECTICUT None N/A Decreasing

DELAWARE Combined, 375 1.6% Increasing

DISTRICT OF Combined, .003% Decreasing
COLUMBIA 1,413

FLORIDA Combined, 800 1% Remained the same

GEORGIA None N/A N/A

HAWAII

IDAHO None N/A Little testing
 done after
 employment

ILLINOIS Combined, 2.3% No data available
 4,051

INDIANA Testing N/A N/A
 not done

IOWA None N/A No data available

KANSAS None N/A N/A

KENTUCKY Testing N/A N/A
 not done

LOUISIANA Combined, 1.16% Not specified
 2,672

MAINE Only test DOT N/A N/A
 drivers

MARYLAND 65 0% Decreasing

MASSACHUSETTS Testing N/A N/A
 not done

MICHIGAN None N/A N/A

MINNESOTA Testing N/A N/A
 not done

MISSISSIPPI Combined, .5925% N/A
 2,534

MISSOURI Testing N/A N/A
 not done

MONTANA Testing N/A N/A
 not done

NEBRASKA Testing N/A N/A
NEVADA not done

NEW HAMPSHIRE

NEW JERSEY 24 0% Not specified

NEW MEXICO Combined, 4.5% Increasing
 451

NEW YORK 10 15% Decreasing

NORTH
 CAROLINA

NORTH DAKOTA None N/A N/A

OHIO 1,794 .56% Decreasing

OKLAHOMA None (2) N/A N/A

OREGON None N/A N/A

PENNSYLVANIA 5 0% Decreasing

RHODE ISLAND Testing N/A N/A
 not done

SOUTH 684 .009% Remains the same
 CAROLINA

SOUTH DAKOTA None N/A N/A

TENNESSEE Testing N/A N/A
 not done

TEXAS 412, includes 50% Decreasing
 410 DOT
 Drivers

UTAH Combined < 1% Remains the same
 estimate,
 200-300

VERMONT Testing N/A N/A
 not done

VIRGINIA Unavailable N/A Not specified

WASHINGTON Testing N/A N/A
 not done

WEST VIRGINIA None N/A Remains the same

WISCONSIN Testing N/A N/A
 not done

WYOMING Testing N/A N/A
 not done

FEDERAL BUREAU
 BUREAU OF
 PRISONS

CANADIAN SYSTEMS

BRITISH Testing N/A N/A
 COLUMBIA not done

MANITOBA Testing N/A N/A
 not done

NEW BRUNSWICK Testing N/A N/A
 not done

NEWFOUNDLAND Testing N/A N/A
 not done

ONTARIO Testing N/A N/A
 not done

CORRECTIONAL Testing N/A N/A
 SERVICE not done
 CANADA

SYSTEM SANCTIONS IMPOSED

ALABAMA

ALASKA

ARIZONA A policy currently is being developed

ARKANSAS Terminate for illegal drugs; suspend for
 alcohol

CALIFORNIA Referral to Employee Assistance Program;
 progressive discipline up to termination

COLORADO Termination

CONNECTICUT Managerial, confidential and instructional
 staff also are subject to reasonable
 suspicion drug testing and, if positive,
 relieved of duty and placed on sick or
 vacation pay, pending completion of an
 treatment program.

DELAWARE Suspended without pay; must successfully
 complete a rehab program and pass a drug
 screen; automatic dismissal for second
 offense within five years

DISTRICT OF Termination
COLUMBIA

FLORIDA Mandatory referral to Employee Assistance
 Program for participation in a prescribed
 treatment plan

GEORGIA Termination: classified employee can appeal
 to state personnel board within 10 days and
 request a review within three days;
 unclassified employee can reapply after
 two years

HAWAII

IDAHO Upon medical verification, termination for
 cause

ILLINOIS Termination

INDIANA Termination based on probable cause test

IOWA Possible discharge

KANSAS Testing done only for reasonable suspicion.
 Employees outside the facilities' walls are
 subject to required treatment and/or
 disciplinary up to and including termination.

KENTUCKY N/A

LOUISIANA Disciplinary action and referral Employee
 Assistance Program or appropriate agency
 for education or counselling

MAINE N/A

MARYLAND Not specified

MASSACHUSETTS N/A

MICHIGAN Civil Service requirement for staff testing
 became effective March 2000-too soon for
 specific data

MINNESOTA N/A

MISSISSIPPI Termination after due process

MISSOURI N/A

MONTANA N/A

NEBRASKA N/A
NEVADA

NEW HAMPSHIRE

NEW JERSEY Termination and permanently barred from
 future law enforcement in the state

NEW MEXICO Termination

NEW YORK Termination

NORTH
 CAROLINA

NORTH DAKOTA Discipline up to termination

OHIO Employee is given a "last chane" agreement,
 counselling, subject to follow-up testing
 for one year. A positive test while on a
 "last chane" agreement results in
 termination.

OKLAHOMA N/A

OREGON If not an Employee Assistance Program issue,
 termination

PENNSYLVANIA Mandatory referral to state Employee
 Assistance Program (SEAP). When cleared by
 SEAP, employee can return to work and
 random tests are conducted for one year.

RHODE ISLAND N/A

SOUTH Termination
 CAROLINA

SOUTH DAKOTA N/A

TENNESSEE N/A

TEXAS Termination

UTAH Physical exam required and continued
 employment if successfully completing a
 treatment program.

VERMONT N/A

VIRGINIA Terminated for positive use after a due
 process hearing

WASHINGTON N/A

WEST VIRGINIA Termination

WISCONSIN N/A

WYOMING Policy not yet in effect

FEDERAL BUREAU
 BUREAU OF
 PRISONS

CANADIAN SYSTEMS

BRITISH N/A
 COLUMBIA

MANITOBA N/A

NEW BRUNSWICK N/A

NEWFOUNDLAND N/A

ONTARIO N/A

CORRECTIONAL N/A
 SERVICE
 CANADA


(1) ALL STATES: The word "combined" is the reported total information for both correctional officers and administrative/support staff.

(2) OKLAHOMA: The Oklahoma Department of Corrections Drug Free Workplace Program currently is suspended due to significant contractual issues. Upon initial implementation, the agency established a "last chance" agreement for employees testing positive.

DRUG TESTING -- PART 4: PREVENTION

[TABULAR DATA NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII]

For information on monthly surveys featured in this or past issues of Corrections Compendium, please contact Cece Hill, CEGA Services Inc., P.O. Box 81826, Lincoln, NE 68501-1826; (402) 464-0602.
COPYRIGHT 2000 American Correctional Association, Inc.
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 2000 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

 Reader Opinion

Title:

Comment:



 

Article Details
Printer friendly Cite/link Email Feedback
Publication:Corrections Compendium
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Sep 1, 2000
Words:2058
Previous Article:American Prisons and the African-American Experience: A History of Social Control and Racial Oppression.
Next Article:From Law to Order: The Theory and Practice of Law and Justice.
Topics:



Related Articles
Drug testing policy: a cooperative effort.
Drug Testing Assailed.
Urine--or you're out: drug testing is invasive, insulting, and generally irrelevant to job performance. Why do so many companies insist on it?
Workplace drug testing.
Marijuana or football (or the Future Farmers of America): Board of Education v. Earls.
Fluid check: drug test debunking.
Does drug testing have a place in our schools?
Drug testing in the world of interscholastic athletics.

Terms of use | Copyright © 2014 Farlex, Inc. | Feedback | For webmasters