The Baltimore City Drug Treatment Court Program: Offender and Program Characteristics

Stacy Skroban Najaka, University of Maryland at College Park
Carlos Rocha, University of Maryland at College Park
Denise C. Gottfredson, University of Maryland at College Park

This paper summaries data from a three-year follow-up study of the Baltimore City Drug Treatment Court. The study randomly assigned 235 eligible offenders to either drug treatment court or traditional court processing between February, 1997 and August, 1998. Previously reported survival analyses of official record data collected through 24 months following randomization showed that the drug court sample had a significantly longer time to failure, or first re-arrest, when compared to the control sample. However, the drug court and control samples had similar failure rates through the first four months of the follow-up period. Approximately one-third of each sample was re-arrested within the first four months at risk. It was not until after this four month period that the survival curves of the drug court and control samples began to diverge. The current research takes a closer look at the initial four month period and attempts to identify the predictors of early failure among the drug court sample, where failure is defined as a new arrest. Both personal characteristics (e.g., prior criminal history) and program characteristics (e.g., immediate engagement in treatment) are considered.

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Updated 05/20/2006