Paco: Voluntary tests belie HIGHER results
DON THOMPSON, AP | Sacramento Bee
SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Nearly a quarter of inmates tested in a screening last year in California had used one or more illegal substances, leading state prison officials to propose increasing penalties for drug and alcohol use.
Under the recommendation, a first positive test for drug use would cost inmates 90 days’ pay from work assignments, and repeat offenses could mean up to a year of lost wages…
The department also plans to standardize mandatory drug testing across prisons.
While making its proposal, the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation said there were more than 4,000 drug-related prison incidents last year. More stringent penalties for drug use would increase prison safety and help inmates complete substance abuse treatment programs, the agency said…
The California Correctional Peace Officers Association supports the drug screening, said Chuck Alexander, the union’s vice president. But he doubted that losing pennies an hour would make much of a difference for inmates.
Depending on their work assignment, inmates are paid just 8 cents to 32 cents an hour…(Full text at Sacramento Bee )
I must admit, I am not surprised at the numbers–I am, however, wowed by CDCR’s sudden interest in drug testing inmates. It wasn’t long ago CO’s were effectively told probable cause was required to request a UA from a convict–Now CDCR is looking to “standardize mandatory drug testing across prisons.” Good for you Dr. Jeff!
Just the same, voluntary testing conducted under the promise of non-reprisal hardly reflects the actual use rate. Tellingly, CDCR did not crunch the numbers reflecting refusal-to-test as a presumptive positive, as per policy.
CLEARLY, many more than 1 in 4 is getting high, fixing etc.
While the testing protocols are being endlessly re-written by various committees and bureaucrats, Perhaps standardized, mandatory, security oriented visiting, mail and minimum facility operations are worth, at least, an after-thought.
It’s all well and good to test convicts for drug use. At the same time, as long as security is so poor as to make kicking dope laden balls over a fence viable for smugglers, testing will serve only to verify drugs are getting in with predictable regularity.
A good doctor will address, say, nausea by treating the symptom and identifying the cause–This is akin to the doctor measuring the vomit. -
View the raw data at: CDCR.CA.GOV