Outcome Evaluation of Drug Courts and Traditional, Probation-Based Supervision

Christine H. Lindquist, RTI International
Christopher P. Krebs, RTI International
Pamela K. Lattimore, RTI International

In order to determine whether drug courts are more effective than traditional, probation-based programs in promoting recovery and preventing recidivism, we are conducting a longitudinal study of drug involved offenders in two counties in Florida (Broward and Hillsborough). The primary purpose of our outcome evaluation is to identify differences in the receipt of treatment services, extent of drug use (measured by self-reports and administrative Urinalysis Assessment results), and recidivism (measured by self-reports and state administrative crime records) between drug court participants and drug-involved offenders supervised by traditional probation. Study participants were identifed from the Florida Department of Corrections database and interviewed in person, using Computer Assisted Personal Interview (CAPI) technology. This presentation outlines the methodology used in our outcome study, provides baseline differences between drug court and comparison subjects, and presents preliminary findings from the follow-up interviews. We collected baseline data from 750 respondents and are in the process of administering nine month follow-up interviews, of which we have conducted approimately 175 and expect to have all completed by August 2003.

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Updated 05/20/2006