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Forced Drug Testing of Defendants - Essay Example

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Forced Drug Testing: Should Defendants Be Forced to Take a Drug Test Are pretrial programs effective in reducing failure to appear rates and pretrial crime Or are pretrial drug-testing programs ineffective because they are based on faulty assumptions
In December 1995, then President Bill Clinton directed that then Attorney General of the United States, Janet Reno to design and enforce a drug policy which would be applied universally to all those arrested pursuant to federal law…
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Download file to see previous pages The rationale argued Clinton for desiring the drug testing program was that "too often, the same criminal drug users cycle through the court, corrections, and probation systems still hooked on drugs and still committing crimes to support their habit." (Clinton, 1995) We should react, he argued, "at the earliest possible stage in a person's interaction with the criminal justice system-following arrest." (Clinton, 1995)
At first blush this would seem to be a rather easy concept. It would seem that drug testing would be a harmless way to combat what all lawmakers would agree is wretched drug problem in the United States. However, there are issues that apply to the constitutional rights of any person. Why does a person who is only alleged to have committed a crime have to be forced into testing Does that person loose their privacy rights which are secured by the Fourth Amendment simply because they were arrested My opinion is that while pre-trial drug testing may secure the appearance of a defendant it does not mean that the defendant is not going to be prone to committing further crimes. It only means that the defendant will avoid going to jail. ...
Pursuant to that program persons that were convicted of drug crimes were given a choice. They could either agree to enter impatient drug treatment which was supplemented by outpatient drug treatment, or be sentenced. Ultimately, it was demonstrated that those who had received the benefits of treatment were less likely to commit the same type of crimes. (William H. McGlothin, 1977) Notably, these were programs and suggestions that were offered in lieu of being in jail rather than being used to secure appearances.
The Fourth Amendment of the United States Constitution guarantees that "The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized." B. C. v Plumas Unified School District (9th Cir. 9/20/99). One might argue that because a person is in police coustdy, that they have already lost that guarantee of security.
However, where is the line drawn For example, if I am arrested for shoplifting, should a court be allowed to mandate that I submit to drug testing Of course, I don't have the right to claim privacy as to the shoplifting charge, but why should I be searched for drugs Does drug testing not constitute a search The notion that it holds any pretrial value is completely illusory. Suppose next that I have passed all drug testing. What would be the next threat Perhaps bail should be foregone because I have no drugs in my system.
I am by no means advocating the use of drugs. Rather, I am advocating for my privacy and the right as it ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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