Criminal Justice Testing

Criminal justice testing includes drug testing for probation and parole, court services, family services, and other local, state, and federal agencies whose role is to ensure that the people under their supervision do not use illicit or illegal drugs.

Onsite testing is common in criminal justice settings. The donor can be confronted immediately with the results of testing. This immediate confrontation can be an effective tool in addressing adverse behavior. We at STL provide services to confirm the results of the onsite testing when a donor denies use. The focus of laboratory drug testing in this type of criminal justice situation can be limited in scope, depending on which drug or drugs are specifically requested from our client.

Some criminal justice agencies prefer to have a laboratory perform all drug testing on their specimens. STL provides two options:

First, an agency can elect to have STL perform just an initial presumptive screen test and report those results. STL will hold the urine sample to give the agency time to contact the donor and confront him or her with any presumptively positive result. The agency can then have follow-up confirmatory testing if the donor denies use.

And secondly, a client that prefers to have a laboratory perform all testing can opt for an initial screen test, with automatic confirmation of all positives prior to reporting. STL can tailor your testing protocol to your specific needs.

Criminal justice testing may involve evaluation of known drug users over time. Often the question is not “did the donor use drugs” but “when did the donor use drugs”. Evaluation of continued drug use, or abstinence from drug use is critical in criminal justice monitoring. In these cases, multiple drug tests are performed throughout the period of supervision. Creatinine normalization (see creatinine normalization) is a calculation that can be performed to eliminate urine concentration as a factor in evaluating drug result fluctuations over time.

Some criminal justice donors can be remarkably resourceful at tampering with drug specimens. (see specimen validity testing). Dilution is most commonly used to mask ongoing drug use. If requested by your agency, STL can perform Limit of Quantitation (LOQ) testing. That means we can report the presence of a drug down to our lowest ability to accurately identify and quantitate a drug, even if that level drops below standard industry cutoffs. This testing protocol often identifies the presence of a drug in specimens despite attempts at dilution.