The Impact on Recidivism of Three New York City Drug Courts: Results From Quasi-Experimental Designs Analyzing Post-Intake and Post-Program Recidivism

Michael Rempel, Center for Court Innovation
Dana Fox, Center for Court Innovation

ABSTRACT
Results will be presented from a multi-site impact evaluation of the three largest drug courts in New York City - the Brooklyn, Bronx, and Queens Treatment Courts. All three include several common drug court components: a dedicated drug court judge, regular court appearances, intermediate rewards and sanctions, and jail or prison in the event of failure. Also, all three serve participants arrested on drug felony charges, although only Brooklyn also serves those with a prior felony conviction. Brooklyn serves the oldest and most addicted group, whereas Queens serves the youngest and least addicted. Bronx employs a model involving close institutionalized ties between the court and a core group of community-based treatment agencies. Those agencies serve the case management function served by onsite case managers at Brooklyn and Queens. All three evaluations will employ quasi-experimental designs that match comparison group defendants on charges and criminal history. The Brooklyn comparison group will be contemporaneous, drawing on comparable defendants never screened by the drug court, usually due to an arrest in an ineligible geographic arrest zone. The Bronx and Queens comparison groups will be "pre-post," drawing on defendants arrested in the year before the programs' start-up. Recidivism rates will be compared for post-intake and post-program recidivism. For both types of recidivism, results for one-year and two-year time periods will be reported. Also, results will be presented for a survival analysis extending over the two-year post-intake period.

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Updated 05/20/2006