Critical Choices: Making Drug Policy at the State Level Drug Strategies

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This report outlines the needs and roles that state governments must play in reducing the demand for drugs through treatment and prevention in the wake of rising drug-related criminal justice costs. The "Critical Choices" theme is captured in a quote from Gov. Dirk Kempthorne (R-Idaho) that begins the report: "I have to address drug policy issues because if I don't, the budget will be eaten up by incarceration costs, and I won't be able to fund my other priorities such as schools and health care." Drug Strategies presents arguments for increasing spending on treatment and prevention programs, then provides examples of state programs that are effective in at least one of the two areas. 28 pages. Free with faxed request to (202) 414-6199. Drug Strategies, 1575 Eye St. NW, Ste. 210, Washington, DC 20005. (202) 289-9070. 

The Growth of Youth Gang Problems in the United States: 1970-98

Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention

This report presents detailed information on villages, towns, cities and counties with gang problems, and growth rates for gang activity. "One of the best documented developments of this period," the study says, "was a striking increase in the growth of gang problems in the nation's smaller cities, towns and villages."  The report defines a youth gang (ages 12-24) as "the traditional area-based adolescent and young adult street gang whose violent activities include assaultive and predatory crimes," and discusses reasons for the increase in localities that report significant gang activity. The report predicts that gang growth will slow down in the early 2000s. 93 pages. Free from the OJJDP website, U.S. Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, 810 Seventh Street, NW, Washington, DC 25031. (202) 307-5911

- Chelsea Badeau 

- Jolene Porter