Outcomes and Cost-effectiveness of Drug Courts in Kentucky

T.K. Logan, University of Kentucky
Matthew L. Hiller, University of Kentucky
Carl G. Leukefeld, University of Kentucky
Lisa Minton, KY Administrative Office of the Courts

An outcome and cost-effectiveness evaluation was conducted on three adult Drug Court programs in Kentucky. Multiple research methods were used, including (1) a 12-month post-program follow-up of 745 individuals from three sites comprising 3 study groups (i.e., graduates, dropouts, and a comparison group of individuals assessed as eligible for but who did not enter Drug Court); (2) data from 14 different sources from four areas, including program records, criminal justice records, supplemental data, and face-to-face interviews; (3) interviews with a random sample of 136 graduates and dropouts from the drug court programs; and, (4) the examination of the costs and benefits of Drug Court. Results showed that, particularly for graduates, Drug Court involvement was associated with pronounced reductions in post-discharge incarceration, mental health services use, and in the legal costs associated with criminal charges and convictions. In addition, there was a significant increase in job earnings and in child support payments made by the Drug Court graduates.

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Updated 05/20/2006