Department of Justice is now the Department of Communities and Justice.  Find out more >

CJB49

Author Toni Makkai, Jacqueline Fitzgerald and Peter Doak
Published March 2000
Report Type Crime and Justice Bulletin No. 49
Subject Bail / Remand; Drugs and Drug Courts; Parole; Policing; Prisons and prisoners
Keywords drug use, detainees, police

Download this publication

Summary

Aim

In this study the level and type of drug use amongst a sample of detainees from two Local Area Commands in Sydney are examined. This study improves upon prior work by validating self-reported drug use with urinalysis results.

Abstract

The extent to which individuals who are detained by the police are drug users is a matter of policy significance as drug using offenders commit disproportionately more crime than their non-drug using colleagues. In this study the level and type of drug use amongst a sample of detainees from two Local Area Commands in Sydney are examined. This study improves upon prior work by validating selfreported drug use with urinalysis results. The urinalysis results indicate that cannabis and opiates are the most commonly used drugs with 53 per cent testing positive to the former and 43 per cent testing positive to the latter. Only 8 per cent tested positive to amphetamines. Just under one-third of those detained for a violent offence and 55 per cent of those charged with a property offence tested positive to opiates. In total 75 per cent tested positive to at least one drug. Promoting treatment diversion options should be a priority for governments keen to break the nexus between drugs and crime.