Evaluating Drug Courts: An Assessment of Outcomes

Peter C. Kratcoski, Kent State University, Stark Campus
Daniel C. Dahlgren, Kent State University, Stark Campus

Despite the wide acceptance of the drug court model as an alternative to jail or prison as the method for providing monitoring and treating offenders who have been convicted for substance abuse problems, the effectiveness of this model has not been established. The drug court is a multi-disciplinary, outcome based, community justice initiative designed to alleviate the many problems associated with drug related offenses and correctional efforts therein. Thus the deficiencies of treating substance abuse and addiction are addressed in this model. This study examines one county's drug court program in terms of multi-stage qualifyng criteria and decision making, participant selection and retention, and outcomes of Drug Court participants and a comparison group of non-participants. Variables derived from each step of the treatment program are used to predict success of failure as defined by relapse, program termination, program completion, and recidivism.

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Updated 05/20/2006