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NCJ Number: NCJ 193403     Find in a Library
Title: An Honest Chance: Perspectives on Drug Courts, Executive Summary
  Document URL: HTML 
Author(s): John S. Goldkamp ; Michael D. White ; Jennifer B. Robinson
Corporate Author: Crime and Justice Research Institute
United States of America
Date Published: 04/2002
Page Count: 6
  Annotation: This report presents the perspectives of drug court participants in six American drug courts.
Abstract: In the design and operation of drug courts around the country, certain assumptions have been made about drug courts and their participants, such as assumptions about the role of the courtroom, drug testing, and the use of sanctions. This study employed a focus group method to evaluate the experiences of drug court participants. Twelve focus groups were convened at 6 sites with nearly 150 drug court participants. Participants discussed their drug histories and motivations for entering drug court, the courtroom experience, the treatment experience, use of drugs and crime during treatment, and recommendations for improving drug courts. The findings are presented in juxtaposition to the common assumptions made about drug courts and include the observation that drug courts are effective at drug treatment because of judicial supervision and closely coordinated treatments. However, most drug court participants do not enter drug court for its treatment aspect, but rather to avoid a sentence of incarceration. Many participants credited the judge’s hands-on style of supervision as effective, yet many participants also noted that drug use and crime engagement were not uncommon among drug court participants. Suggestions to improve drug courts include enhanced drug testing, employment assistance, and after-hours telephone hotlines. Note
Main Term(s): Program evaluation ; Drug Courts
Index Term(s): Perception ; Drug offenders
Sponsoring Agency: US Dept of Justice, Office of Justice Programs
Drug Courts Program Office
United States of America
Grant Number: 1998-DC-VX-0102
Sale Source: US Dept of Justice, Office of Justice Programs
Drug Courts Program Office
810 Seventh Street NW
Washington, DC 20531
United States of America
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Country: United States of America
Language: English
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