The forced drug testing of a defendant should continue. While some believe that this violates the defendant’s rights in some way, many supports this process as this would help the presiding judge decide on what course of pre-trial action he should take. A suspect should be tested for drug use to know whether he needs treatment, supervised release or detention while awaiting trial. The drug testing is useful because it would tell the court that this person, particularly a juvenile, could be rehabilitated if weaned away from drugs.
By determining early on whether drugs is part of the problem, the case would become one notch less complicated to solve. For instance, if a minor were arrested for burglary, and after being tested, it was found out that he has been using cocaine. It became clear later on that the theft happened because he needed cash to buy the drug. In this case, the minor can be helped through rehabilitation since the root of the problem has already been found. In another line, pretrial programs, like drug testing, are not effective in reducing the number of appearance failure and the incidence of committing another crime while on bail.
Based on studies conducted by the National Institute of Justice, drug testing prior to a trial does not help to predict who would skip town or who would remain and face the charges. There is simply no correlation between drug use and appearance during hearing (Calderon, 2005). Similarly, studies did not find a significant relationship between drug use and pretrial crimes. A defendant can still commit crime during the pretrial release period with or without the influence of drugs.
The drug testing process is useful only up to the point of pinpointing who would need treatment. The agency found out that there are other more relevant indicators when it comes to predicting who would appear on hearings and who would commit crimes while on bail. These include arrest history, amount of drug use, and seriousness of the charge.
Reference Calderon, M. (2005). Should Defendants be forced to take a Drug Test? AnaiRhoads. org Home Page. Retrieved July 5, 2008, from http://www. anairhoads. org/calderon/drugtest. shtml