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Office of the Press Secretary

For Immediate Release January 5, 1998
                      THE CYCLE OF CRIME AND DRUGS
                            January 5, 1999

Today, President Clinton will announce significant budget initiatives to help break the cycle of crime and drugs. The President will announce new resources to help states and localities systematically test, treat, and sanction drug-involved offenders -- including $215 million in his FY 2000 budget proposal to enforce "zero tolerance" for drug use by prisoners, parolees, and probationers.

A new Department of Justice report, also released today, shows that in 1997 more than three-quarters of the nation's prisoners reported past drug use, more than half reported using drugs in the month before their offense, and one in six committed their crimes so they could purchase drugs.

The President's initiative responds to these findings.

Prisoner Drug Use. Today the Justice Department's Bureau of Justice Statistics will release a new study on prisoner drug use (Substance Abuse and Treatment, State and Federal Prisoners, 1997). Key findings regarding prisoner drug use include:

     Vast majority of all prisoners report drug use.  In 1997, 
     83 percent of state prisoners and 73 percent of federal prisoners 
     reported past drug use --considerably more than the 21 percent of 
     state prisoners and 60 percent of federal prisoners who are 
     serving time for drug offenses.  In addition, 57 percent of state 
     prisoners and 45 percent of federal prisoners reported using drugs 
     in the month before their arrest.

     Many prisoners commit crimes to buy drugs or while on drugs.  
     Nearly 20 percent of state prisoners and 15 percent of federal 
     inmates reported committing their offense to get money to buy 
     drugs.  Thirty-three percent of state prisoners and 22 percent of 
     federal prisoners were actually under the influence of drugs at 
     the time of their offense.

     Drug offenders have long "rap sheets."  State prisoners serving
     sentences for drug offenses reported extensive criminal histories: 
     76 percent had been previously sentenced to prison or probation; 
     54 percent were on probation or parole at the time of their 
     arrest; 45 percent had three or more prior sentences; and 23 
     percent had previously committed a violent crime.  Although 
     federal drug offenders generally reported less severe criminal 
     histories, 59 percent had prior criminal records.

New Resources for " Zero Tolerance" Drug Supervision. The President will announce measures to ensure that the criminal justice system operates to keep offenders drug-and crime-free: (1) $215 million in his FY 2000 budget proposal -- an increase of about $100 million -- to drug-test and treat more people under criminal justice supervision; and (2) the availability of about $120 million already appropriated for FY 1999 to help make prisoners and parolees drug-free.

     (1) $215 million for the most comprehensive drug supervision 
     ever. The President's FY 2000 budget will include $215 million for 
     drug supervision, including an increase of about $100 million for 
     a proposed new program to help states and localities implement 
     tough new systems to drug-test, treat, and punish prisoners, 
     parolees, and probationers.  This initiative will ensure that 
     states fully implement the comprehensive plans to drug-test 
     prisoners and parolees that they are required by law to submit to 
     the Justice Department.  The initiative will also support the 
     efforts of states like Maryland and Connecticut to begin drug 
     testing probationers on a regular basis.  The President's FY 2000 
     budget also will include $50 million -- an increase of 25 
     percent -- to expand the number of local drug courts and $65 
     million for residential drug treatment in state prisons.

     (2) About $120 million this year for drug-free prison initiatives.
     The President will announce the release of the following grants to
     ensure that states fully implement their comprehensive plans for
     prison drug testing, treatment, and sanctions:

     --Up to $50 million for prison drug testing and intervention.  
     Today the Justice Department will release new guidance informing 
     states that they can use up to 10 percent of their prison 
     construction funds (Violent Offender Incarceration/Truth-in-
     Sentencing grants) to drug-test and treat prisoners and parolees.  
     Last year, President Clinton called on Congress to give the states 
     this flexibility, and he fought for it to be included in the final 
     budget agreement.

     --$63 million for residential drug treatment in state prisons.  
     The Justice Department also will announce the availability of 
     $63 million for state prisons to provide long-term drug treatment 
     and intensive supervision for prisoners with the most serious drug 

     --$6 million for new Drug-Free Prison initiatives.  The President 
     will announce that the Office of National Drug Control Policy will 
     award $6 million in grants to help eight states (AL, AZ, CA, FL, 
     KS, MD, NJ, NY) and the Federal Bureau of Prisons make and keep 
     their prisons drug-free.  These grants will support surveillance 
     systems, drug-sniffing K-9 teams, advanced technologies for drug 
     detection, and other efforts to detect and deter drug use in 

A Record of Accomplishment.

      Pushed for drug testing and intervention in all states.  The
      President fought for and signed the legislation requiring states 
      to drug test prisoners and parolees as a condition for receiving 
      prison grants.  As a result, states were required to put in place
      comprehensive drug-testing and intervention plans for prisoners 
      and parolees.

      Expanded testing and treatment in federal prisons.  The President 
      has promoted drug testing and treatment in the federal prison 
      system.  In 1998, federal prisoners were subjected to nearly 
      133,000 drug tests.  Additionally, the number of inmates required 
      to receive treatment increased by fourfold from 5,450 in FY 1993 
      to 21,995 in FY 1998.

      Leading the national drug court effort.  Under the President's
      leadership, the number of drug courts has increased from an 
      estimated 12 in 1994 to more than 400 today.  Drug courts provide 
      frequent drug testing, treatment, and tough supervision, and have 
      been shown to reduce recidivism substantially.