Deterring Drug Related Crimes

Deterring Drug Related Crimes

Drug Use and Criminal Behavior in the United States

Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention

Studies of youth in juvenile court demonstrate that a majority of court-involved adolescents have recently used illegal substances and that more serious and chronic adolescent offenders have used more substances and are more likely to qualify for a diagnosis of a substance use disorder.

Other Crimes

Sex Trafficking and Crimes

United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime

Extent of Problem

The Facts on Drugs and Crime in America

Prison Population

  • 1 in 100 citizens are now confined in jail or prison.
  • The U.S. incarcerates more people per capita than 26 of the largest European nations combined.
  • Incarceration rates in the U.S. are 9X greater for young African-American men between the ages of 30 and 34 years.


  • 80% of offenders abuse drugs or alcohol
  • Nearly 50%of jail and prison inmates are clinically addicted
  • Approximately 60% of individuals arrested for most types of crimes test positive for illicit drugs at arrest

Imprisonment has
Little Effect on Drug Abuse

  • 60 to 80% of drug abusers commit a new crime (typically a drug-driven crime) after release from prison.
  • Approximately 95% return to drug abuse after release from prison.


  • Since 1998, individuals arrested for drug crimes have constituted the largest portion of federal prison admissions
  • Between 2000 and 2011, Bureau of Prisons (BOP) appropriations almost doubled from $3.6 billion to $6.3 billion
  • Inmates sentenced after November 1, 1987 are no longer eligible for parole

Recidivism Rate

45.4% of people released from prison in 1999 and 43.3% of those sent home in 2004 were re-incarcerated within 3 years, either committing a new crime or for violating conditions governing their release

Violent Crime is on the Rise in U.S. Cities


Economic Impact




2015 National Center for Injury
Prevention and Control Study

The U.S. spent nearly $8 billion noncriminal justice-related  costs due to selling and consuming opioids, which was almost entirely a cost to state and local governments


One study from the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston found that the average costs of treating an opioid overdose victim in an intensive care unit jumped 58% between 2009 and 2015.

In 2015, the average cost among 162 academic hospitals was $92,400 per patient in intensive care.


The impact on American Employers

Strategies to Address Drug Crime

Santa Barbara Police Department

  • Restorative Policing
    • The Restorative Policing Program helps chronically homeless individuals achieve self-sufficiency.  The program works with clients to place them index, housing, or work programs.  The program is staffed by a sworn officer, Community Service Liaisons, and Restorative Outreach Specialists.
    • The Restorative Court program is a collaborative effort of the Police Department, court system, health care system, and social service agencies.  It is designed to help individuals with mental illness or substance dependence, many of whom are homeless, get off the street.  Through customized recovery plans, many clients have participated in restorative court, with many achieving sobriety, safe housing, and a healthy lifestyle.

Santa Barbara’s Innovative Approach


Laconia NH Police Department

  • Police Education and Treatment
  • Officer works directly with individuals and their families that are suffering from a substance use disorder, as a support network and helping to navigate barriers they are presented with.


Stop, Triage, Engage, Educate and Rehabilitate (STEER) Program

  • STEER is a risk-need triage model
  • Incorporates both prevention and intervention approaches
  • Uses an available 24/7 case manager who rides with the officers,
    • goes to district stations, follows up with individuals referred to the program in the community, and
    • meets and motivates the person to rapidly engage and stay in treatment.

Adverse Child Experiences Response Team (ACERT)


Handle With Care


Warm Hand Off


Family Support Centers


Arlington Outreach Initiative






  • In this module, you were able to…
    • Identify the impact of drug abuse on economies, the legal system, and communities
    • Understand the relationships between drug use and incarceration
    • Explore potential strategies to address drug crime

Module 2 is Complete

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