ERIC Number: ED446163
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1998-Aug
Reference Count: N/A
Double Jeopardy: An Assessment of the Felony Drug Provision of the Welfare Reform Act.
Adams, Rukaiyah; Onek, David; Riker, Alissa
In 1996 the Aid to Families with Dependent Children program was replaced with a federal block grant program called Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), which imposed time limits and work requirements on welfare recipients. The welfare legislation placed a lifetime ban on TANF and food stamp benefits for convicted drug felons, although states were allowed to opt out or modify the ban if they chose. This study attempts to evaluate the issue and project the likely impact on needy families in San Francisco, CA, where the state has not only opted into the federal provision, but has also excluded those who are disqualified from TANF by the federal ban from receiving state General Assistance benefits. According to the assessment, the drug felony provision will unquestionably have a disproportionate effect on women, the majority of adult TANF recipients, and the new provisions will also be systematically biased against racial minorities. It will increase state costs, especially for foster care and criminal justice, and it will result in decreased treatment opportunities for convicted drug addicts. A survey of the practices of other states shows that 32 opted in, 8 opted out, and two modified the provisions in some way. Five states excluded those convicted of drug sales, but not possession, and two states allowed TANF and food stamps for drug felons, with payments made to a third-party vendor. Recommendations are made to ease the impact on San Francisco families, centering on modifying the ban, changing prosecution policies, and granting local public assistance to parents excluded from the state program. (SLD)
Descriptors: Block Grants, Criminals, Disadvantaged Youth, Federal Aid, Federal Legislation, Illegal Drug Use, State Programs, Welfare Recipients, Welfare Reform
Center on Juvenile and Criminal Justice, 1622 Folsom Street, San Francisco, CA 94103. Tel: 415-621-5661; e-mail: email@example.com; Web site: http://www.cjcj.org.
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Justic Policy Inst., Washington, DC.
Identifiers - Location: California (San Francisco)
Identifiers - Laws, Policies, & Programs: Temporary Assistance for Needy Families