A Five-Year Analysis of Participants of the San Joaquin County Drug Court in California

Mayling Maria Chu, California State University - Stanislaus

This is a 5-year analysis of the data about participants of the San Joaquin County Drug Court in California from 1995 to 1999. The purpose of this research project is to understand drug offenders' needs, their views of the drug court, and effectiveness of the drug court program. A preliminary statistical analysis reveals that the gender ratio by average of the drug court participants is 3:1. A striking finding is that African Americans are over-represented in the drug court program. The percentage of African Americans of the county population was 6.7% according to the Census 2000 data, however, the percentages of African Americans who were drug court participants ranged between 26% and 32%. Most of the drug court participants used heroin or cocaine. Statistical analyses are still in progress to test correlations between variables such as race and use of drugs, completion of program, and so forth. Findings of the research will contribute to the knowledge base of drug offense and treatment as well as the research base of drug courts. Further formulation of theoretical perspectives in explaining effectiveness of the San Joaquin County Drug Court in particular and drug courts in general will be explored.

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Updated 05/20/2006