Critical Issues  -  Co-Occurring Mental and Addictive Disorders

From: National Corrections Journal, 166611, March 1998


Bureau of Justice Statistics Special Report
Substance Abuse and Treatment of Adults on Probation, 1995


By Christopher J. Mumola, BJS Policy Analyst
With assistance from Thomas P. Bonczar, BJS Statistician

Abstract:

In the first national survey of adults on probation, conducted in 1995, nearly 70% of probationers reported past drug use; 32% said they were using illegal drugs in the month before their offense; and 14% were on drugs when they committed their offense. More than 20% were on probation for driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, and 25% of other probationers said they had been drinking at the time of their offense.

When the survey was conducted, 17% of the probationers reported having participated in a drug treatment program while serving their current sentence; 32% said they had received treatment for alcohol abuse. Overall, 38% had received some treatment for substance abuse since beginning their probation.

These findings are based on personal interviews with a nationally representative sample of over 2,000 adult probationers under active supervision. These interviews followed an earlier study of administrative records of a larger sample of probationers. While the interviews addressed a broad range of issues, this report focuses on items dealing with probationers' histories of drug and alcohol use and treatment.

Highlights

Half of probationers were under the influence of alcohol or drugs at the time of the offense for which they were convicted

Percent of probationers under the influence at the time of offense

Offense type

Alcohol

Drugs*

All probationers

40%

14%

Non-DWI offenders

25

16

Severity of offense

Felony

28%

18%

Misdemeanor

58

8

Type of offense

Violent

41%

11%

Property

19

10

Drug

16

32

Public-order

75

6

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