The Substance Abuse and Crime Prevention Act (SACPA), implemented statewide in California in July 2001, mandates drug treatment rather than incarceration for certain nonviolent drug offenders. Critics of the legislation suggest that crime increased as a result of the legislation, but researchers have largely ignored this issue. Utilizing time series methodology applied across several independent data sets from Orange County, California, the effects of SACPA on crime were assessed. Results indicate that significant increases in commercial burglaries and paraphernalia arrests may have been attributed to SACPA, but the overall pattern does not support a conclusion that crime increased markedly.
This report is part of the RAND Corporation External publication series. Many RAND studies are published in peer-reviewed scholarly journals, as chapters in commercial books, or as documents published by other organizations.
Our mission to help improve policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis is enabled through our core values of quality and objectivity and our unwavering commitment to the highest level of integrity and ethical behavior. To help ensure our research and analysis are rigorous, objective, and nonpartisan, we subject our research publications to a robust and exacting quality-assurance process; avoid both the appearance and reality of financial and other conflicts of interest through staff training, project screening, and a policy of mandatory disclosure; and pursue transparency in our research engagements through our commitment to the open publication of our research findings and recommendations, disclosure of the source of funding of published research, and policies to ensure intellectual independence. For more information, visit www.rand.org/about/principles.
The RAND Corporation is a nonprofit institution that helps improve policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis. RAND's publications do not necessarily reflect the opinions of its research clients and sponsors.