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January 12, 1998

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Breaking the Drug-Crime Link

Common sensetells us that the best way to break the cycle between drugs and criminalactivity is to break the drug habits of our prisoners. That is why myAdministration has made inmate testing and drug treatment a vital part ofour anti-crime efforts... To inmates we are saying, "If you stay on drugs,you stay in jail." To parolees, we are saying, "If you want to keep yourfreedom, stay free of drugs."

President Bill Clinton
January 12, 1998

Today, President Clinton directed Attorney General Janet Reno tostrengthen inmate drug testing and drug treatment efforts as part hisongoing anti-crime efforts. 80% of the inmates in state and federalprisoners were either high at the time they committed their crimes, stoleproperty to buy drugs, violated drug or alcohol laws, or have a longhistory of drug and alcohol abuse. Today,s directive is a vital part ofthe President,s plan to break the drug-crime link and make our communitiessafer.

Breaking the drug habits of prisoners and parolees: In 1997,President Clinton fought for and signed into law a bill that promotes drugtesting and treatment in state prisons. The law requires state prisons totest prisoners and parolees before receiving federal prison funds. Today,s directive strengthens these measures by calling for:

Expanded drug detection, offender testing and drug treatment. Legislation is called for that will permit states to use their federalprison funds to implement plans for drug testing and treatment ofoffenders in the criminal justice system, and that expands existingprograms of training and technical assistance to help states improve theirdrug testing and treatment strategies;

Tougher penalties for smuggling drugs into prisons. Legislation is calledfor that enacts stricter penalties for drug trafficking into and withincorrectional facilities;

Tracking prison drug use and measuring progress. Changes in fundingguidelines are called for that require states receiving federal prisongrants to submit annual reports evaluating their prison drug abuseproblems, so that progress towards ridding prisons of drugs can be bettermeasured.

Building a safer America for our children. This directive isan important part of President Clinton,s agenda to reduce crime andincrease safety for all Americans. Under his leadership, seizures ofdrugs have increased significantly, and overall drug use has fallen byhalf since its peak 15 years ago. The directive builds on the success ofthe President,s other anti-drug policies, including:

The largest anti-drug budgets ever. Year-in and year-out, PresidentClinton has proposed the largest anti-drug budgets ever. Between 1996 and1998, resources for drug control increased by 19 percent, from $13.5billion in FY 1996 to $16 billion in FY98. For example, resourcesincreased for domestic law enforcement by 14 percent, internationalefforts by 68 percent, and interdiction by 22 percent;

A comprehensive national drug control strategy. This strategy willreduce illegal drug use through law enforcement, prevention, treatment,interdiction and international efforts. Building on this effort, theAdministration is nowputting in place a ten-year strategy to reduce drug use in America.

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