Alaska Justice Forum 17(1), Spring 2000


"Drug Use Among Arrestees in Anchorage" by Cassie Atwell and Matthew Giblin

Cocaine and marijuana are the drugs used most often by persons arrested in the Anchorage area, according to a 1999 survey of 718 arrestees under the Arrestee Drug Abuse Monitoring (ADAM) project, a national research initiative undertaken by the National Institute of Justice (NIJ). ADAM, which is aimed at generating extensive and timely data on drug use among the arrestee population, currently operates in 35 sites nationally. This article describes the ADAM program and ADAM findings in Anchorage for 563 male and 155 female adult arrestees surveyed in 1999.

"Measuring the Drug Problem"

The Arrestee Drug Abuse Monitoring (ADAM) program described in this issue, administered within Alaska by the Justice Center and the Alaska Department of Corrections, is one of several national sources of data on the extent of the use of illicit drugs. As described in this article, there are several sources of national data on drug use, but few established, ongoing sources of accurate data on the extent of the illicit drug problem in Alaska.

"National Drug Control and the Budget"

Since 1980, the money allocated by the federal government for drug control has grown over 1100 per cent. For FY 2000 the federal government will spend an estimated 18.5 billion dollars on its drug control efforts – about one per cent of the total federal budget. In FY 1981 the drug budget was 1.5 billion dollars, about .2 per cent of the national budget at that time. This article descibes federal drug control spending from FY 1999 through the FY 2001 budget request.

"Drug Cases in the Courts"

The percentage of the federal court caseload related to drug charges had risen steadily since the early 1980s. The percentage of drug-related felony filings in the Alaska Court System has remained relatively steady during the same period, though the actual number of felony drug cases filed in Alaska state courts has steadily increased. This article presents figures on filings for cases involving drug charges for U.S. District Courts nationally and in Alaska, as well as in the Alaska Court System.

"The Alaska Department of Corrections: The Drug Treatment Picture"

The Alaska Department of Corrections does not at present test inmates for drug or alcohol problems at the time they begin serving their sentences, so there are no firm figures available on the extent of the drug problem among the inmate population. Available treatment programs are always full; more inmates request treatment than there are spaces available. This article describes substance abuse programs within DOC facilities and the privately-operated Central Arizona Detention Center, where nearly 900 Alaska inmates are housed.

"Incarceration on Drug Offenses"

Since the mid-1980s, the "war on drugs" has led to an enormous increase in both the numbers and percentages of inmates in the federal correctional system incarcerated primarily for drug offenses. There has been less of a proportional increase in similar imprisonments in the Alaska state system. This article presents figures for Alaska and nationwide federal prison populations for offenders convicted of drug crimes.