High times for 25% of CDCR inmates tested

Apr 16th, 2014 | By | Category: Contraband, Paco's Podium, Prisons & Confinement, Security, Spotlight, Substance Abuse and Treatment

Paco: Voluntary tests belie HIGHER results

Over a quarter of CDCR inmates' urinalysis proved positive for drugs.  The refusal rate ranged from 5.54% at SATF to 98.95 at PBSP. to

Over a quarter of CDCR inmates’ urinalysis proved positive for drugs. The refusal rate ranged from 5.54% at SATF to 98.95 at PBSP

California prisons find 1 in 4 inmates used drugs

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

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4 Comments to “High times for 25% of CDCR inmates tested

  1. Howie Katz says:

    Let’s get real. The inmates are not buying drugs with the money they earn in prison. Many of those drugs are smuggled in by visiting family members. And a lot of drugs are smuggled in by COs who are getting paid by the inmates’ family and friends to do so. Mandatory drug testing will prevent some inmate drug use, but it won’t stop the smuggling. The only way to prevent the smuggling of drugs is to strip search every visitor and – here comes the zinger – every CO when he or she comes to work. And you know damn well that’s not going to happen.

    • Bob Walsh says:

      But its such a good line, and there you go, peeing on my parade.

    • Howie Katz says:

      I just read where they are going to try out body scanners on inmates at LA County Jail in place of strip searches.

      If, as reported, body scanners work better than strip searches, the use of these devices on visitors and COs arriving for work could put a real crimp in the smuggling of drugs into prisons. But putting these devices in every prison would probably prove to be cost prohibitive. Also the ACLU would probably object to their use, and you know the union would too.

  2. Bob Walsh says:

    If they lose their jobs where would they get the money to buy their drugs?