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Understanding drugs’ impact on crime underscores the need to look beyond the criminal justice system for additional responses in managing the problem.
Drug Use and Crime Facts
Bureau of Justice Statistics, U.S. Department of Justice, 1999 Data
- About two-thirds of adult arrestees and more than half of juvenile arrestees tested positive for at least one drug during the 1998 Arrestees Drug Abuse Monitoring program sampling arrestees in 35 metropolitan areas.
- Thirty-three percent of state prisoners reported in 1997 that they had committed their offense while under the influence of drugs.
- Sixteen percent of convicted jail inmates said they had committed their offense to get money for drugs.
- Of convicted property and drug offenders, about one in four had committed their crimes to get money for drugs.
- In 1997, 5.1 percent (over 700) of all homicides were drug-related.
- The first national survey of adults on probation, conducted in 1995, reported that 14 percent of them were on drugs when they committed their offense.
- In 1998, the number of arrests for drug possession exceeded 1.2 million nationwide.
- In 1998, the number of arrests for sale and manufacture of drugs exceeded 300,000 nationwide.
- In 1998, drug arrests accounted for 30 percent of all arrests nationwide.
- In 1994, the last year for which statistics were released, 66 percent of arrestees charged with a felony drug offense in the 75 most populous counties were released prior to case disposition.
- The average time from arrest to sentencing by jury trial was 285 days for drug trafficking cases.
- In 1995, 32 percent of all probationers—43 percent of felons and 17 percent of misdemeanants—were subject to mandatory drug testing.
- According to 1997 data, 36 percent of the U.S. population reported illicit drug use at least once in their lifetime, 11 percent reported drug use within the last year, and 6 percent reported drug use within the last month.
- In 1996, the last year for which statistics were available, 114,180 cases of cocaine use and 70,463 cases of heroin use required hospital emergency-room attention.