There is such a thing as the revocation of parole for committing a new crime. Authors George Cole and Christopher Smith of the book ‘Criminal Justice in America’ cited what was written in ‘What Americans Think’, that is, the fact that there is strong support given to the possibility of sending back parolees to prison once they fail drug testing.
If you are currently on probation (or a parolee) then you would certainly have questions about this procedure. In this regard, it pays to take a look at the following facts about drug testing if you are on probation:
# 1 – Drug testing for parolees is made for a purpose.
It is more than just that aspect of sending a parolee back to prison if they failed the drug test. Drug screening when you are on probation is purposely done by the parole agent to supplement the aspects of support and control as parts of parole supervision. As cited by a report published via CDCR by the State of California Department of the Youth Authority, the primary intention of the test is to increase public safety and reduce the parolee’s criminal behavior.
In the report made by the Bureau of Justice Statistics, it was noted that in 1998, there were 7 out of 10 inmates who were tested positive for drug use. This is quite alarming as we all know since drug use may result to other crimes such as theft, robbery and even drug trafficking.
# 2 – Parole drug testing policies may vary from one state to another
Just recently, California eases its parole process by no longer conducting random drug tests among parolees. According to Thomas Atkins of the Associated Press in his article published via CorrectionsOne, the budget crisis in the place was one factor that affected the need to loosen up a bit on parole provision. One aspect that was sacrificed is the need to conduct random drug testing on parolees.
While this is the case in this state, it is not the same thing for parolees of Texas and Rhode Island. In Texas alone, parolees have seen the positive aspect of drug testing thus making sure that it is imposed in the state. In the case of Rhode Island, regular drug testing for parolees is also being required. Basically, the PO supervises the process closely and contacts family members, employers or all others concerned just to make sure that the purpose of the test will be delivered.
# 3 – False positive results may transpire during the course of the drug testing process.
Several drug testing methods may be used when you are on probation. The most popular ones are urine, sweat, hair and saliva drug tests. While these methods are supported by new drug testing technologies, you should take note that false positive results may take place. A false positive result is one wherein you are tested positive for a drug use when in fact you have not used an illicit drug.
As mentioned by Diane Riley in her article entitled Drug Testing for Prisons, these false positives may result from one’s intake of allergy and asthma medications. When the urine method is used, switching of urine specimen (from ‘unadulterated’ to ‘adulterated urine) may also be the case. This happens when someone else in the prison wants to make sure your parole will be revoked.
# 4 – Sanctions will be given in case your drug test shows positive results.
Immediate revocation of parole is the toughest sanction you can face when you are tested positive for drug use. Add to this, the Probation and Parole Bureau of the Department of Corrections also specifies the following sanctions for offenders:
- Minimum sanctions for first-time offenders. This will include one-three days in jail at own expense, restricted travel, curfew, community service and day reporting program.
- Second-time offenders. The sanctions will include electronic monitoring, one to five days in jail, restricted travel, increased reporting, increased testing, curfew, community service and day reporting.
- Third-time offenders. Sanctions will increase to: (1) 7 days in jail at own expense; (2) 90 AA’s in 90 days; (3) day reporting; and (4) intermittent jail which may include weekends in prison.
Now that you have known some facts about probation drug testing, it will be easier submitting yourself to the test. If in case you will have false positive results, elevate your concern to proper authorities.
This Article is written by Lena Butler, contributor of Test Country Articles.