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Drug testing

Probation departments often operate with lack of guidance on drug testing, as well as a lack of research on drug testing's impact on reducing recidivism or improving behavioral health. This article details results of a survey of probation departments conducted to examine the landscape of probation policies and procedures and drug testing administration in Illinois.

The use of drug testing is pervasive in community supervision, requiring probationers to regularly submit to urine drug testing. Positive drug tests may result in sanctions, technical violations, probation revocations, and even prison sentences. However, experts in addiction medicine recommend using testing to support recovery rather than to exact punishment. This article reviews the literature on drug testing and offers information on efficacy, best practices, and limitations.

"Hawai'i’s Opportunity Probation with Enforcement (HOPE) Hawai'i’s Opportunity Probation with Enforcement probation relies on a regimen of regular, random drug testing tied to swift and certain, but modest, sanctions to motivate probationer compliance. In two 2007 studies in Hawai'i, a comparison-group quasi-experiment and a randomized controlled trial, HOPE was demonstrated to improve compliance with terms of probation at 12-month followup, with large reductions in drug use, recidivism, and overall incarceration for offenders assigned to the program … This study extends the original HOPE evaluations to an almost ten-year followup, addressing whether the improvements in criminal-justice outcomes observed during the active HOPE intervention persist after the term of probation. The study also documents changes in HOPE practices and ongoing implementation fidelity to the model … HOPE probationers performed better than those supervised under routine supervision. They were less likely to be revoked and returned to prison" (p. 2-3).

HOPE II Cover

Results from projects implementing new strategies for drug interdiction within an institutional setting are presented. This compilation includes findings from final evaluation reports provided by Maryland, California, Kansas, New York, and Florida.

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