According to a White House press release, the Administration’s National Drug Control Strategy supports comprehensive change within the criminal justice system.
The White House explains its reasoning as follows:
Over the past twenty-five years, the U.S. prison and jail population reached an
all-time high and the number of people on probation and parole doubled. In
2009, nearly seven
million individuals were under supervision of the state and Federal criminal
justice systems. Nearly two million of these individuals were incarcerated for
their crimes, while the remaining five million were on probation or parole being
supervised in the community. As a result, the United States’ criminal justice system faces significant challenges.
While both the Federal and state correctional systems must address this
issue, states generally bear the costs related to this population, and
correctional spending has dramatically kept pace with the rising corrections
population. Between 1988 and 2009, state corrections spending increased from $12
billion to $52
billion per year. Despite these significant expenditures, far too many
offenders return to drug use and crime upon their reentry into society.
In 2009, parole
and other conditional release violators accounted for 33.1 percent of all
prison admissions, 35.2 percent of state admissions, and 8.2 percent of Federal
admissions. Twenty-four percent of parolees ending
supervision in 2009 (approximately 132,000 of 553,000) returned to prison as a
result of violating their terms of supervision, and 9 percent of adults ending
parole returned to prison as a result of a new conviction.
prisoners who were dependent on or abusing drugs, 53 percent had at least
three prior sentences to probation or incarceration, compared to 32 percent of
other inmates. Drug dependent or abusing state prisoners (48 percent) were also
more likely than other inmates (37 percent) to have been on probation or parole
supervision at the time of their arrest. The 2010 ADAM
II Survey found that anywhere from 52 percent (Washington, DC) to 80 percent
or more (Chicago and Sacramento) of male arrestees tested positive for the
presence of at least one drug at the time of their arrest.