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ILLICIT DRUG AVAILABILITY - EFFECTS OF A LOCAL LAW ENFORCEMENT PROGRAM

NCJ Number
63397
Date Published
January 1979
Length
21 pages
Author(s)
G A GRIZZLE
Agencies
NIJ-Sponsored
Annotation
BASED ON RECENT DRUG AVAILABILITY STUDIES LINKING THE AVAILABILITY OF DRUG USAGE, THIS STUDY EVALUATES THE ENFORCEMENT OF CONTROLLED SUBSTANCE LAWS ON DRUG AVAILABILITY IN THE COMMUNITY.
Abstract
IN 1972, MECKLENBURG COUNTY, N.C., WAS AWARDED A LEAA GRANT TO STRENGTHEN THE VICE CONTROL BUREAU'S DRUG PROGRAM BY PROVIDING THREE ADDITIONAL OFFICERS AND $10,000 IN 'BUY MONEY' (FUNDS USED BY UNDERCOVER AGENTS AND INFORMERS TO PURCHASE DRUGS). EXAMINING THE EFFECT OF THIS PROGRAM ON DRUG AVAILABILITY REQUIRED (1) MEASURING AVAILABILITY BEFORE AND AFTER THE PROGRAM STARTED, (2) IDENTIFYING THE IMMEDIATE PROGRAM PRODUCTS OR OUTPUTS, (3) LINKING THESE OUTPUTS TO CHANGES IN AVAILABILITY, (4) AND CONSIDERING EVENTS OTHER THAN THE ENFORCEMENT PROGRAM THAT MIGHT HAVE AFFECTED AVAILABILITY. RESULTS SHOWED AN APPARENT DECREASE IN THE SUPPLY OF OPIATES, PRIMARILY HEROIN; NO CHANGE IN THE SUPPLY OF HALLUCINOGENS; AND AN INCREASE IN AMPHETAMINES, BARBITURATES, AND MARIJUANA. TOTAL ARRESTS INCREASED FROM 422 TO 442, WHEREAS ARRESTS PER MAN-MONTH OF EFFORT DECLINED FROM 3.6 TO 2.9. AT THE 95 PERCENT CONFIDENCE LEVEL, BETWEEN 4 AND 30 PERCENT MORE OF THE 1973 ARRESTS WERE OF PEOPLE AT THE RETAIL LEVEL IN THE ILLICIT DRUG DISTRIBUTION NETWORK. BOTH THE NUMBER OF CONFISCATIONS AND THE AVERAGE VALUE FOR EACH CONFISCATION INCREASED AFTER MORE OFFICERS WERE ADDED AND AGAIN AFTER BUY MONEY WAS RECEIVED. THE ARREST AND CONFISCATION STATISTICS SHOW THAT VICE CONTROL OFFICERS MADE A SPECIAL EFFORT TO REDUCE THE ILLICIT DRUG DISTRIBUTION NETWORK. BOTH THE NUMBER OF CONFISCATIONS AND THE AVERAGE VALUE FOR EACH CONFISCATION INCREASED AFTER MORE OFFICERS WERE ADDED AND AGAIN AFTER BUY MONEY WAS RECEIVED. THE ARREST AND CONFISCATION STATISTICS SHOW THAT VICE CONTROL OFFICERS MADE A SPECIAL EFFORT TO REDUCE THE ILLICIT DISTRIBUTION OF HEROIN AND GAVE MUCH LESS ATTENTION TO BARBITURATES AND AMPHETAMINES. OVERALL, VICE CONTROL ACTIVITIES APPEAR TO BE ASSOCIATED WITH A REDUCTION IN THE AVAILABILITY OF ILLICIT DRUGS IN THE COMMUNITY. EVALUATORS OF SIMILAR PROGRAMS SHOULD PAY PARTICULAR ATTENTION TO METHODS OF OBTAINING CONFIDENTIAL INFORMATION AND PROCEDURES FOR TAPPING THE KNOWLEDGE OF THOSE INVOLVED. TABULAR DATA ARE INCLUDED. (AOP)
Date Created: December 30, 1979