Reports on the Effectiveness of Drug Courts from the Urban Institute

Do Adult Drug Courts Work? Drug, Crime and Other Psychosocial Outcomes
Presentation by: Dana Kralstein
Abstract:

This presentation includes findings from both the offender surveys conducted for the MADCE and the 24-month post-enrollment criminal justice records. One focus will be on reporting substance abuse impacts. Using 6- and 18-month follow-up survey data and oral test results, we will report on 1) the trajectory of recovery and 2) whether, and for whom, drug courts work in terms of reducing drug use. The other primary theme will use the survey and administrative records to address 1) whether drug courts impact crime and incarceration, 2) to what extent these effects are durable over time, and 3) whether drug courts are most effective for high- or low-risk offenders.

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The Net Benefits of Drug Court
By: P. Mitchell Downey and John Roman
Abstract:

More than a dozen cost-benefit analyses have been conducted on drug courts in the last decade. We build on these findings and extend them in several ways: 1) a larger sample allows us to draw inferences from a large sample of individuals (nearly 1,800) and courts (23); 2) survey data on a number of domains which have never been included in past analyses (such as employment, hospital use, homeless shelter use, mental health treatment, and many more) increases the range of program costs and benefits considered; 3) we employ statistical techniques less common in criminal justice cost-benefit analyses, although not new, to identify individual characteristics which make drug court most cost-effective; and 4) we separately analyze each drug court’s cost effectiveness to draw inferences about which drug courts are and are not cost effective under different combinations of price structures, program design, and offender population characteristics.

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Drug Court Policies and Practices and How They Relate to Offender Outcomes
By: Janine M. Zweig, Christine Lindquist, P. Mitchell Downey, John Roman, Shelli B. Rossman
Abstract:

This presentation documents how key drug court policies and practices influence participants’ outcomes related to relapse and recidivism. The policies and practices include those related to treatment, leverage, judicial supervision, judicial interaction, case management, drug testing, sanctions, rewards, and graduation requirements. It addresses the following critical research issues: 1) how policies, practices, and courtroom experiences vary across drug court programs; 2) which policies, practices, and courtroom experiences make drug courts more or less effective; and 3) whether combining particular sets of policies and practices leads to even greater success for program participants.

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