Seven in 10 inmates booked into Minneapolis' Hennepin County jail on any given day last year had illegal drugs in their system, though most of them had had some kind of treatment, reprots the Minneapolis Star Tribune. The snapshot of drug use by inmates before their arrest comes from an annual federal study that includes the county and nine other U.S. jail sites. It involves randomly selected inmates who take part voluntarily, giving information about their drug habits, criminal activity and housing and job status, and providing a urine sample within 48 hours of being booked.
Substance abuse by arrestees at the Hennepin County jail in Minneapolis was over 70 percent in 2010, a 10 percentage-point increase from 2009. The drug most commonly found was marijuana, in about half of those tested, followed by cocaine, in nearly one-fifth. Hennepin County Sheriff Rich Stanek theorized that because crime is down nationwide, career criminals, the group most likely to consume illegal drugs, make up a higher proportion of those arrested. White House drug czar Gil Kerlikowse said the study “highlights the serious need for more substance abuse and mental health treatment behind the walls and within our probation and parole systems.” The ADAM II study (Arrestee Drug Abuse Monitoring Program), showed regional differences in arrestee drug use. In Hennepin County, there was an increase in heroin abuse. Methamphetamine use was much higher among jail inmates in Sacramento and Portland, Ore. Those in Atlanta tended to use cocaine more often. In Charlotte, N.C., just over half of arrestees tested positive for any kind of drug.