Study: Vast majority of incarcerated Latinos support reform

Overwhelming majorities of U. S. inmates support mandatory drug testing for all inmates and staff a new analysis has found.

Researchers have found two-thirds of U. S. inmates agree with the bill that took effect in mid-April requiring them to take drug tests at the outset of every shift from home.

Whats more another CNN-ORC survey from April found that 74. 6 of U. S. inmates support parole decisions reassigning offenders to facilities with fewer drugs and others that help reentry.

The public vocalizes and focuses on incarcerated populations contributions to society said lead author Andrea Claudia Costenbader of Stanford University in California and coauthors.

Policy makers across the world evaluate needs on the basis of individual preferences and a constellation of factors including provision of community corrections fair rehabilitation quality of life quality of community access to jobs and rehabilitation they wrote in the Journal of Public Health.

In its analysis the independent ONeill Institute researchers surveyed 2105 U. S. inmates serving time for drug offenses as well as their predecessors and a control group of 101 people who did not serve time.

Overwhelming support.

Within the subset of those who agreed 54. 5 said they routinely self-administer a urine drug test while 54. 6 said they never or seldom used a drug test and 84. 2 said they had used at least one option other than a urine test while 77. 9 said they never or rarely used the tests.

Men black and less educated people had substantially higher support for legalization than the general population the CDC researchers found. About an in 11 percent of men and one in 3 blacks surveyed supported legalization versus only about 14 percent of white men.

Black women and less educated women had less support for the policy change than non-Latino whites.

Our findings suggest that prison confinement is not an automatic result of the policy change Andrea said in an email Sunday.

Most individuals believe the policy is a positive change she said. However for prisoners there is a sense of urgency to implement the policy change as it is expected to result in a decrease in their current prison term. It is not an automatic movement from prison.

The study relied heavily on a random sample of incarcerated men women and men who were released between May and June 2017.

Most prisoners had used drugs at some point during their incarceration the researchers calculated. Nearly 60 of the outreach staff and other staff had used drugs at some point during the most recent stint; nearly a third of the outreach workers had used drugs between May 2014 and February 2017; and about 24 of outreach workers had used drugs over the most recent period.

More health concerns for Latino men.

Among the prisoners who had been released after serving a minimum of 30 months 3. 6 reported being concerned about their health due to their incarceration. Just 13. 9 reported being concerned about social issues due to their incarceration.

The researchers said these concerns would likely increase after the policy takes effect because more Latinos and U. S. illegal immigrants will be eligible for health and social services.

Crises related to drug use reproduction and self-esteem were highest among men of Mexican descent the study also found.

The analysis also found the extent to which U. S. Latino residents view the institution: 54. 3 said they became incarcerated because of drug use compared to 41. 3 of U. S. non-Latino inmates.

Among non-Latino women of Mexican descent the proportion who were concerned about their health due to drug use rose from 23. 0 in the past year to 42. 6 the study found.

Nearly 70 of U. S. illegal immigrants surveyed in the survey had used drugs.

A new study in JAMA Network Open examining the impact of the change in policy had not found clear differences.

This study adds to the evidence that unfortunately collaboration between social justice communities and phase-out groups does not work said Dr. Julie E. Bernick a spokeswoman for the National Institute on Drug Abuse which funded the study.

Our results do indicate that public health professionals should consider how to effectively reach and engage both groups Bernick said.