New Directions in Prosecutions, esp. Drug Offenses

New Directions in Prosecution
J. Scott Johnston
Assistant District Attorney
Federal Drug Prosecutions
January 2014
Number Latest Month 1,487
Percent Change from previous month -7.8
Percent Change from 1 year ago -11.5
Percent Change from 5 years ago (inc Mag. Ct) -9.3
Percent Change from 5 years ago (exc. Mag. Ct) -22.6
The monthly count of federal prosecutions for narcotics/drugs offenses has reached its
lowest level since May 2000
The number observed during the most recent six month period appears to be the lowest
seen since the end of the Reagan Administration.
1 in 13 Georgia Citizens in prison or on Probation or Parole (more than 2x
National Avg)
1 in 70 Georgia Citizens in prison
$1 Billion Corrections Budget (5x 1985 budget)
Georgia Population 9.5 Million
New York State Population 19.5 million
Both States have the same number of incarcerated Citizens
Today 30% of inmates are ineligible for parole, that is up from 2% in 1989
The average stay in prison for drug possession is 21 months, that’s up from
10 months in 1990
First Offender
Upon successful completion a first offender discharge is recorded
Does not act as a conviction
Conditional Discharge
1st drug offense or property crime related to drug use
Upon successful completion the case is dismissed
New Directions
Day Reporting Center
Drug Court
Community Involvement
Residential Substance Abuse Treatment
Probation Sentence
9 months in patient treatment at a detention center
6 months aftercare
Drug treatment and mental health counseling
Day Reporting Center
Probation Sentence
5 Weeks Report every day
2 days a week after that
Must have gainful employment in phase 2
Drug treatment and mental health counseling
Drug Court
Post conviction/Pre Sentencing
Out patient drug treatment
Must be gainfully employed or in school
Case is dismissed upon successful completion
Community Involvement
Bill Nettles: U.S. Attorney in South Carolina
Intervention model for low level drug dealers

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