Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction

                                               NEWS RELEASE                                                                              

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                               

NOVEMBER 20, 2001


(Columbus) – The Ohio Department of Rehabilitation (DRC) is releasing its annual statistically correct drug testing results, which are documented at a record low of 0.88% positive.  Each year DRC conducts saturation drug testing among approximately 20% of the entire inmate population.  This form of testing provides a statistically valid representation of all of Ohio’s inmates. 

This year 9,540 of the 44,800 inmates were tested at each of Ohio’s thirty-four institutions.  Among the 9,540 tested, only 84 tested positive for one of the following substances: amphetamines, benzodiazepines, cocaine, marijuana and opiates. 

The saturation testing process began in 1990 and is conducted every October.  In 2000 1.86% of the saturation tests were positive.  Every inmate that provides a positive test result must encounter a series of sanctions.  These sanctions include the inmate being separated from general population, wearing brightly colored uniforms indicating that they have been positively identified for substance abuse, and participating in mandatory drug treatment programming.  

“In 1996 DRC implemented a drug interdiction program of zero tolerance.  At that point we had an unacceptably high level of positive drug tests among the inmate population,” stated Director Reginald Wilkinson.  “I am very pleased that our programs and security processes are effective in helping us to attain such a low positive percentage this month, and I hope to see a decline in this number with future testing.”  In addition to the annual saturation testing, DRC also conducts random monthly testing on 5% of the inmate population.  The Department maintains that any positive drug test is unacceptable.  DRC will continue to strive for zero tolerance of drug conveyance and use in its prisons.

For more information please contact the DRC Public Information Office at (614) 752-1150.