HTTP/1.0 200 OK Content-Type: text/html Drug Study At Odds With Drug Czar Findings
Copyright: 1999 USA TODAY, a division of Gannett Co. Inc.
Pubdate: Thu, 4 Feb 1999
Contact:  1000 Wilson Blvd., Arlington VA 22229
Author: Gary Fields, USA TODAY 


WASHINGTON - Increased drug arrests and longer prison sentences have not
slowed illegal drug use, according to a study by the nation's largest
organization of lawyers. 

In a study released Thursday, the American Bar Association's Criminal
Justice Section found that illicit drug use increased 7% from 1996-1997 to
14 million people. 

The report is based on statistics from several federal reports and on
surveys on incarceration and drug use. 

Drug use in the ABA study means use of drugs - not including alcohol - in
the month before a person was surveyed. 

The study, which included adults, contradicted results of a study earlier
this year by the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy. 

That study showed drug use by youths in decline. 

The ABA study found that 1.2 million people were arrested on drug charges
in 1997, a 73% increase over the number of people arrested in 1992. 

The increase in arrests resulted in no decrease in drug use, the study says. 

Myrna Raeder, chairwoman of the ABA's Criminal Justice Section, says the
statistics suggest the policy of arrest and incarceration ''does not work.'' 

Barry McCaffrey, director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy,
said he had not seen the ABA study. 

But he said the general issues it raised are being addressed. He said his
office's priorities are education and treatment of inmates with drug

McCaffrey's office began a multimillion-dollar advertising campaign last
year designed at reaching teen-agers and their parents. 

He said treatment is the second key: ''We have 1.8 million people behind
bars and probably 50% to 80% of them have compulsive drug or alcohol
problems, or both. 

''The bottom line . . . is they are going to come out unemployable and
still addicted. If you don't put them in drug treatment, you're kidding
yourself,'' McCaffrey said. 

Jim Pasco, executive director of the Fraternal Order of Police, the
nation's largest organization of law officers, says the study shows the
need to stop drugs before they get into the country and onto the streets. 

''Everybody gets gratification about seeing drug dealers taken off the
corners,'' Pasco says. 

''But, we need to do something about the folks getting the drugs to them
and making the business so lucrative,'' he says. 

Marc Mauer, assistant director of the Sentencing Project in Washington,
D.C., says he was not surprised by the ABA study. 

He says drug crimes, more than most other offenses, ''are much less
affected by tough sentencing policies. 

''If you have a serial rapist in the neighborhood and convict that person .
. . nobody is going to replace that rapist. But if you arrest a kid on
street corner and put him in prison five years, 20 minutes after you take
him away, there will be another kid on that corner,'' he says. 

''As long as we don't address the demand side of this problem,'' Mauer
says, ''it will be exceedingly difficult to address it from the supply
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