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.
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.
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.