This research article will contextualize drug testing and conditions of supervision by analyzing eight original in-depth interview and survey narratives provided by persons are in treatment for substance use disorder. We identify a gap in the literature surrounding drug testing as part of community supervision. Specifically, the practice of drug testing from the perspective of the person ordered to test is not well documented. We consider how these experiences diverge from the intention of drug testing by supervising agencies as described in the prior scholarship. This cleavage between the expectations, experiences, and understanding of persons being tested relative to those of supervision agencies presents an avenue for the government to improve community relations, and specifically, improve trust among formerly incarcerated persons towards the supervision process, thereby increasing its legitimacy while enacting procedural justice. The persons under supervision describe broad criminal justice experiences and histories with illicit substances that resulted in drug screenings. The opinions from persons who use drugs towards drug testing and related conditions also vary and suggest evidence-based practices involving drug screening could be helpful to improve compliance with conditions and increase trust towards supervision agencies and courts. Opinions towards obligatory drug screens ranged from fear to one of gratitude. A common theme emerged: when drug tests were viewed as avoidable, respondents described changing their behavior to avoid testing—such as avoiding employers who may test for drug use; when screenings were understood as obligatory, like in the context of court ordered community-based addiction treatment, some respondents identified the broader context of the testing as helpful to their abstinence from drug use. Respondents described drug screenings as impacting their employment, economic well-being, and freedom—in particular, failed drug screens on community supervision, including drug court and other specialized supervision caseloads, could result in punitive action including incarceration and other adverse outcomes like job loss. The risk acknowledgement, however, of consequences of a failed drug screen, had not up to the point of our interview, resulted in long-term abstinence from substances for any of the respondents under community-based supervision.

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