Drug Treatment to Promote Public Safety in Iowa
|Summary of Corrections Institutions Cuts||End of FY01||October, 2002|
|Licensed Prison Program Beds/Slots||843||696|
|Licensed Prison Program
|62.5||52.5. Real reduction is greater since duties have shifted away from RX to other duties for some staff.|
|Number of Offenders who could receive Licensed substance abuse treatment services||2276||1743. Real reduction is greater since two prisons reduced the length of treatment to accommodate more numbers.|
These cuts are particularly damaging to the level of intensity needed to provide effective treatment. Some inmates are best served in more cost-effective community based corrections. Others need to receive intensive services while still in prison. It is no bargain to provide diluted, ineffective services. Unfortunately, some of that intensity is being lost because of program eliminations and staffing reductions. For example therapy staff are performing other duties instead of spending full time on therapy.
One particularly impressive example of intensive programming is the 9-month intensive Therapeutic Community approach. The Anamosa State Penitentiary and the Iowa Correctional Institution for Women at Mitchellville each have programs that provide an living environment which is somewhat isolated from the regular prison population and with programming that is approximately nine months in length. This intensive program is funded under a federal grant.
6 Proposal: The Single Best Thing We Can Do To Fight Crime.
Drugs are our single biggest crime problem and treatment is the best way to fight drug use. The best public policy tool to reduce crime in Iowa is to increase the availability and duration of substance abuse treatment for adult and juvenile addiction to illicit drugs and alcohol. The Attorney General proposes that resources for substance abuse treatment and related programs should be increased in the amount of approximately $29 million. These funds would be used to get more people into treatment, and let them stay in treatment long enough to get the maximum benefit.
In addition , $15 million would be used to supplement the current appropriation ($5 million) for the comprehensive tobacco control and prevention program and bring Iowa within the range recommended by the Centers for Disease Control.
Estimated Funding Outline:
Community Based Treatment $10 million
Correction Treatment $5 million
Other Programs, including: $12 million
Drug Courts $3 million
Diversion Programs $1 million
Jail Programs $4 million
Knoxville Program $4 million
Prevention Grants. $2 million
Increased tobacco control funding to CDC minimum. $15 million
Total: $44 million
A Community-based Treatment. (Estimated $10 million increase)
The State Capacities Work Group in 2001 with task of determining capacity and
estimating costs for increased capacity. The most effective scenario recommended by the group called for an increase in both the number of beds and the length of stay. The increased cost for that maximum scenario was $13.9 million. We believe that the current system could not absorb that size of increase in a single year because of workforce issues and so we recommend $10 million in the first year, $10 million in the second, and $15 million by the third.
B Prison Treatment. (Estimated $5 million increase)
The current estimated expenditure for licensed substance abuse treatment in Iowa prisons is $4.3 million. This provides "residential" level of care treatment for about 1,100 offenders and "outpatient" level of care for about 575 offenders. A $9 million annual budget targeted for licensed substance abuse treatment could adequately address the need for treatment within the prisons. An additional $300,000 could be used to reinstate a centralized substance abuse treatment needs assessment process at the Oakdale reception center.
C Adult and Juvenile Drug Courts. (Estimated $3 million)
Drug Courts for adults, juvenile or both exist in Des Moines, Sioux City, Mason City, Marshalltown, and the in the Fourth Judicial District. These programs are funded primarily through federal grants and they are proving their effectiveness. The state should ensure their continuation and expansion.
Drug Courts are one of the most effective things we can do in part because of the intersection that is created between the criminal justice system and the treatment system. The Court serves as a particularly effective incentive for requiring treatment. Defendants hear the message that failure to comply will result in sanctions. Because of this feature, judicial cooperation is crucial to success.
The Des Moines Register noted in an editorial in regard to the Polk County Juvenile Drug Court".... one program that benefits the entire state. It's a bargain for taxpayers. It works." And as the Register noted that it's also in jeopardy because the Federal grant that has funded the program has run out, as has other sources of funds.
The Polk County Juvenile Drug Court has a 70% graduation rate and few referrals back to juvenile court the following year. The program costs as little as $14 per day.
Similarly an evaluation of the Polk County Adult Drug Court by the state Criminal and Juvenile Justice Planning agency found that graduates had a lower post-program
recidivism than comparison groups. The study found that the program reduced overall correction costs.
The Iowa Department of Public Health estimates that placing drug courts to serve 40 adults and 40 juveniles in each of the states eight judicial districts would cost $2.92 million.
D Diversion to Treatment Pilot Projects. (Estimated $1 million)
The idea of this program is to use a screening tool to identify treatment-ready offenders immediately after arrest so that diversion to treatment occurs prior to the expenditure of legal and correctional resources. Eligible offenders accused of non-violent drug and property crimes would plead guilty enabling them to go the front of the line for full evaluation, treatment, and CBC supervision.
There are two keys to success: first, the use of a treatment-eligibility screening tool by pre-trial release interviewers; and second, priorities set by the prosecutors, public defenders, judges, DCS, and treatment programs to "fast track" these cases.
E Jail-based Treatment Programs. (Estimated $4 million)
The programs that provide treatment within the confined are effective and reliable in part because of the benefits of treating a confined population. This program is currently being implemented in Polk County and has potential for other of the states larger counties. The Polk County program budget is $400,000 and serves 30-40 men and 10 women. Placing such a program in ten of the larger counties of the state would cost $4 million.
F Knoxville Secure Drug Treatment Program for Probationers. (Estimated $4 million)
This funding would establish a secure drug treatment program at Knoxville for
probationers who also have a substance abuse problem. The program would provide specialized treatment in a secure setting without increasing demands on the prison system.
G Statewide Comprehensive Prevention Programming Grants. (Estimated $2 million increase)
Additional funding for the Iowa Department of Public Health's Statewide
Comprehensive Programming Grant Program will provide an important complement to the increased emphasis on treatment. Under this program 23 grantees provide drug prevention services to all 99 counties of the state on a per capita basis. The programs engage in local alcohol and drug prevention activities such as working to reduce college binge drinking habits, or the strengthening families to discourage the use of alcohol and drugs. Current funding for the program is $2.8 million.
H Increased Funding for Tobacco Control. ($15 million increase.)
Our most effective tool to fight the addictive effects of nicotine in tobacco is a comprehensive program with counter-marketing, community programs, youth programs, enforcement and cessation. In proper combination, these programs save lives. The Centers For Disease Control has set a targeted range for each state spending on this comprehensive package. Iowa's recommended spending level is $19.3 to $48.7 million Current funding is $5 million, a reduction from $9.3 million the prior year. An additional $15 million would bring Iowa to roughly to the CDC recommendation. This is an especially appropriate use of money from the state tobacco tax. As a state, we should commit ourselves to spending the money necessary to prevent the loss of more than 5,000 Iowans per year from tobacco.
7 Fund By Raising The Tobacco Excise Tax.
The drug treatment / public safety proposals described in this document could be funded by a twenty-five cent increase in the tobacco tax which would raise approximately $50 million in new state revenue. Attorney General Miller has long supported a higher Iowa tobacco tax because of the lives that can be saved through the reduction and cessation that comes from the increased price. In this regard, Attorney General Miller also supports the efforts of the Iowa Health Initiative for a significant increase in the cigarette tax.
It is particularly appropriate to use tobacco tax revenues to fund this drug treatment initiative because nicotine addiction it is a frequently occurring co-addiction with other drugs. While there is no evidence of a direct, causal connection between addiction to nicotine and addiction to other drugs, there is an extremely high correlation between the two. Having one addiction greatly increases the probability of having another. The best practice for drug treatment includes treatment for nicotine addiction.
The current Iowa cigarette tax is 36 cents. It has not increased since 1991 when it was increased 5 cents. Sixteen states raised cigarette taxes in 2002. Iowa is currently 29th in the nation regarding cigarette tax level. A number of neighboring states raised their tobacco tax in 2002. Illinois raised its tax 40 cents to 98 cents per pack. Nebraska raised its tax 30 cents to 64 cents per pack and Kansas raised its 55 cents to 70 cents per pack. Three other neighboring states considered such increases: Minnesota (48 cents currently), Wisconsin (77 cents currently) and Missouri (17 cents currently).
Each pack of cigarettes sold in this county costs the economy $7.18 in health care and related expenditures. Smoking costs the U.S. approximately $150 billion each year in health-care costs and lost productivity. In Iowa the estimated cost is $1,618,000,000.
Perhaps most important a tax increase is a deterrent to young people starting and
encouragement for smokers to quit. Economists estimate that a 10% increase in the price of cigarettes would reduce teenage smoking by 7% and overall consumption by 4-6%.
Such a decline would help reduce the loss of life each year from tobacco. Smoking related disease claims an estimated 440,000 American lives each year including more than 5,000 Iowans.
For Further Information: News Inquiries:
Iowa Attorney General's Office Bob Brammer 515-281-6699
Hoover State Office Building
1305 East Walnut Street John Pederson 515-281-6898
Des Moines, Iowa 50319 Anne Sheeley 515-281- 6736
Policy and Program Inquiries:
Bill Roach 515-281-5536Attorney General Home | News Release Home