Drugs and Crime

WHEREAS, an April 1998 report by the U.S. Department of Justice (Bureau of Justice Statistics) reveals that 82% of all jail inmates admitted a prior use of drugs and 36% acknowledged being on drugs at the time of their offense; and WHEREAS, the 1998 National Institute of Justice Arrestees Drug Use Monitoring (ADAM) Program Report reveals that in all 23 metropolitan areas surveyed, between one-half and three-quarters of the people charged with crimes had drugs in their system at the time of their arrest; and WHEREAS, the aforesaid ADAM Report reveals that in many U.S. cities including Atlanta, Portland, Denver, St. Louis, San Diego and Ft. Lauderdale, over 70% of the male arrestees test positive for an illegal drug at the time of their arrest, with figures as high as 78% in New York City and 80% in Chicago; and WHEREAS, the aforesaid ADAM Report also reveals the high percentage of positive tests for marijuana at the time of arrest for male arrestees in many cities such as Cleveland 46%, Omaha 49%, Washington, D.C. 39%, and Dallas 43%; and WHEREAS, a 1997 FBI study concerning violent attacks against law enforcement officers found that 24% of the assailants were under the influence of drugs at the time they attacked the officer and 72% of the assailants had a history of drug law violation; and WHEREAS, the 1997 National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University (CASA) report “Behind Bars Substance Abuse and America’s Prison Population” indicates that among state and federal inmates, drug users account for 41% of the first-time offenders, 63% of inmates with two prior convictions, and 81% of inmates with five or more prior convictions; and WHEREAS, from 1960 to 1980, drug incarceration rates fell by 79%; violent crime increased by 270% and teen drug use doubled more than 500%; and WHEREAS, from 1980 to 1995, when drug incarceration rates rose 447%, the violent crime rate slowed from +13% to +1% and high school drug use declined by a third; and WHEREAS, commencing in 1992 the violent crime rate has been reduced steadily every year following a 50% reduction in drug use by Americans and strong law enforcement actions directed at violent criminals and drug traffickers, as exemplified by New York City, which has substantially reduced the rate of violent crime for six consecutive years, including a 70% reduction in homicides; now, therefore, be it RESOLVED, that the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP), duly assembled at its 105th annual conference in Salt Lake City, Utah, strongly advocates the recognition of the connection between the use of illegal drugs and criminal conduct and calls for effective law enforcement action against drug traffickers and violators and those engaged in criminal conduct as part of any balanced program to address the issue of drug abuse.