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February 2, 1976

Medical News

JAMA. 1976;235(5):461-469. doi:10.1001/jama.1976.03260310003001

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Commission hears various views about drug testing in prisons  The arrangement under which an estimated 85% of all phase 1 drug testing in this country is done in prisons is coming under increasing scrutiny.There have been many reasons for the use of prisoners. Prison inmates make an excellent research population whose activities can be monitored and controlled. Many inmates also find participation in drug testing an attractive alternative to other forms of "Work" because of comparable pay and better working conditions—such as an infirmary with television privileges, compared to a noisy print shop.The prisons as institutions have also benefited from the drug testing program because they are short of money and any subsidies—from the military services (which have been testing vaccines) or the drug companies—can help to improve prison conditions that are declared deplorable, sometimes to the point of being called unconstitutional.In recent months, protests and