Recidivism of Violent Drug Court Offenders

Christine A. Saum, University of Delaware
Frank Scarpitti, University of Delaware
Alison R. Gray, University of Delaware

As more violent and other serious offenders enter drug courts nationwide it is critical to examine criminal history and recidivism data so that we can address public safety concerns about placing these offenders into community-based drug treatment programs. Recidivism data were collected for offenders in a post adjudicatory drug court program, most of whom had a history of violent offending. Compared with nonviolent offenders, findings indicate that violent offenders do recidiviate more and with more serious types of offenses during active program participation and after program discharge. However, violent offenders who graduated were significantly less likely to recidivate. Violent offenders should not be precluded from the opportunity to participate in the unique combination of treatment and supervision offered in drug court programs.

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Updated 05/20/2006