Data were collected for two purposes: (1) to
assess whether drug users are greater risks than nonusers for rearrest
or failure to appear (FTA) for scheduled court appearances while on
pretrial release, and (2) to test the relative effectiveness of
periodic surveillance through urinalysis, traditional narcotic
treatment, or neither in reducing rearrest and FTA during the pretrial
period. The Pretrial Services Agency (PSA) of Washington, DC tests
arrestees for drug use at the time of arrest. The data include urine
test results for five drugs: heroin, cocaine, PCP, methadone, and
amphetamines. An important feature of this study is that persons who
(1) tested positive for drugs and (2) who were released on
recognizance were randomly assigned to one of three groups: periodic
urine testing (usually weekly), referral to drug treatment, or a
control condition. The data file also includes arrestees who were
negative for drugs and for whom a Released on Recognizance (ROR)
release was not obtained.
All adults arrested that are brought to the attention of
the Pretrial Services Agency (PSA) of Washington, DC. The data exclude
unfounded arrests and other arrests which were immediately
disposed. Persons arrested more than once during the sampling period
have multiple data records.
Individual adult offenders in Washington, DC who have been
arrested and interviewed by the Pretrial Services Agency.
Arrests of individual adult offenders.
personal interviews with arrestees, official Pretrial
Services Agency administrative records, and results from urinalysis
administrative records data, survey data, and clinical
The PSA collects information relevant for pretrial
release recommendations including offender's background, family and
employment status, probation and parole status, pending charges, and
prior convictions. The data also contain the PSA's summary assessment
of likely offender flight or safety problems and the reasons for that
assessment. The official record information includes date of arrest,
charge, initial release decision, date of disposition, type of final
disposition, number of subsequent arrests before trial, date of first
rearrest, FTA information, and number of bench warrants
issued. Results of urine tests at arrest are available for about 65
percent of the total sample. For those in the experimental
surveillance group, summary urine test results from the periodic
testing program are available. There is no measure of treatment for
the drug treatment or control groups.