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Prisoners and Alcohol

NCJ Number
Date Published
January 1983
Data from a 1979 survey on state prison inmates' alcohol use suggest a relationship between alcohol consumption just prior to the crime and the crime itself, although figures are inconclusive.

Almost a third of all inmates surveyed had drunk very heavily just before committing the offense for which they were convicted. A total of 20 percent of them drank very heavily every day the entire year before entering prison. About 16 percent had at some time been enrolled in an alcohol treatment program. Habitual offenders and persons convicted of assault, burglary, and rape were more likely to be very heavy drinkers than other prisoners. Whites, American Indians, and inmates aged 18-25 years were especially likely to be very heavy drinkers. The survey strongly suggests that for many offenders these are typical daily drinking levels. Data accompany the explanatory material. (Author abstract modified)

Date Published: January 1, 1983