- The Washington Times - Saturday, February 8, 2003

The Justice Department spent less than half of the $336 million it allocated in fiscal 2001 for programs to reduce demand for drugs despite a long-standing department policy intended to break the cycle of illicit drug use and its resulting violence through aggressive reduction in demand, a report said yesterday.
A 103-page report by the Justice Department's Office of the Inspector General also said the Drug Enforcement Administration, the nation's front line against illicit narcotics, spent $3 million on demand-reduction programs in fiscal 2001, two-tenths of 1 percent of the agency's $1.4 billion budget.
The report also said the Justice Department's Office of Justice Programs, the Office of Community Oriented Policing Services and the Bureau of Prisons, along with the DEA a Justice Department agency spent $163 million on demand-reduction programs in fiscal 2001 not the $336 million it reported to the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP.)
The Justice Department's figure, according to the report, included 19 demand-reduction programs, although the Inspector General's Office determined that 10 of the asserted programs were not directly related to demand reduction.
"Over the past 20 years, the federal drug-control budget, which includes those resources dedicated to both supply reduction and drug-demand reduction, has increased by over $16 billion," Inspector General Glenn A. Fine said. "The current drug-control budget is more than 10 times the drug-control budget in 1981.
"Despite significant increases in the federal drug-control budget … there appears to have been little progress toward achieving the National Drug Control Strategy goals and strategic objectives developed by the ONDCP," he said.
"It has been widely recognized that enforcement alone was not sufficient and that federal efforts to reduce the demand for drugs were necessary."
Mr. Fine said drug-demand-reduction programs include drug testing, prevention and education, treatment, research, rehabilitation and drug-free workplace programs.
Mr. Fine said the DEA should "consider what potential impact it can have on the demand for drugs when only 0.2 percent of its funding was dedicated to drug-demand reduction in fiscal 2001."
He said, "The DEA's stated objective is to run an aggressive demand-reduction program, but the percentage of its budget devoted to demand reduction is very small." He noted, though, that the agency planned to increase its efforts on demand reduction.
Critics of U.S. drug policy have long said too much effort has been focused on law-enforcement efforts, including supply reduction and interdiction, and not enough on drug-demand programs. Much of that criticism has come from foreign countries, particularly those identified as sources of illicit drugs.
Investigators from the Inspector General's Office reviewed the Justice Department's activities intended to reduce demand for drugs to identify all department programs, quantify the obligations for each program and verify that financial information provided to the ONDCP was prepared appropriately.
They also sought to determine whether the department's performance measures were adequate to determine the success of its programs, identify whether department activities to reduce demand for drugs were duplicative and whether department components were coordinating efforts to reduce demand.
They recommended that the department develop verifiable and measurable outcome-based performance indicators for programs to reduce demand and that it establish a formalized mechanism for coordinating and sharing information related to activities to reduce demand.

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