|Budget Issue:||Drug interdiction program|
|Program:||Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation|
|Finding or Recommendation:||Reduce the administration’s drug interdiction proposal from $6.6 million General Fund in 2013-14 ($18.5 million annually upon full implementation) to $3 million annually on a three-year limited-term basis to pilot test initiatives to reduce drug use in prisons.|
We recommend reducing the administration’s drug interdiction proposal from $6.6 million General Fund in 2013-14 ($18.5 million annually upon full implementation) to $3 million annually on a three-year limited-term basis. The reduced funding amount would allow the department to pilot test the four proposed drug interdiction initiatives—urinalysis testing, canine teams, ION scanners, and visiting room surveillance—in different combinations in order to assess the relative effectiveness of the initiatives. The Legislature could use the outcomes of the pilot to determine which of the various initiatives should be expanded to all of the state’s prisons. The actual cost of the pilot program could vary depending on how it is designed. We recommend that the Legislature adopt budget bill language requiring that the department (1) contract with independent researchers (such as a university) to design and evaluate the pilot program, (2) not expend any funds for the expanded drug interdiction initiatives until it has notified the Legislature of the design of the pilot program, and (3) revert any unspent funds to the General Fund.