Australian Institute of Criminology

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Detainees previously arrested or in prison more likely to test positive to drugs

Crime facts info no. 26

ISSN 1445-7288
Canberra: Australian Institute of Criminology, June 2002

People detained by police are more likely to test positive to drugs if they have previously been arrested or in prison, according to a report released by the Australian Institute of Criminology. Figures show that of the detainees who tested positive to any drug (including cannabis, amphetamines, benzodiazepines, opiates, methadone and MDMA), 63 per cent had been arrested in the past 12 months, compared with 40 per cent of detainees who did not test positive to drugs. Of those detainees who tested positive to drugs, 26 per cent had been incarcerated in the past 12 months, with only 10 per cent of detainees who did not test positive to drugs reporting that they had been incarcerated in the past 12 months. Drug Use Monitoring in Australia: 2001 Annual Report on Drug Use Among Police Detainees provides information on illicit drug use and criminal history of police detainees in Bankstown, Parramatta, East Perth and Southport. The detainees participated in surveys on their drug use and criminal history as well as being asked to provide a urine sample as part of the Drug Use Monitoring in Australia (DUMA) project. Next year's report will contain data from three additional sites: Brisbane (Queensland), Adelaide City and Elizabeth (South Australia).

Percentage of adult detainees previously arrested, in prison or neither arrested or in prison, by any drug or no drug*


chart
*Any drug includes cannabis, amphetamines, benzodiazepines, opiates, methadone and MDMA

Source

  • Makkai, T. & McGregor, K. 2002, Drug Use Monitoring in Australia: 2001 Annual Report on Drug Use Among Police Detainees, Research and Public Policy Series, no. 41, Australian Institute of Criminology, Canberra.