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NCJ Number: 200101 Find in a Library
Title: Effectiveness of Drug Treatment Courts: Evidence From a Randomized Trial
Journal: Criminology & Public Policy  Volume:2  Issue:2  Dated:March 2003  Pages:171-196
Author(s): Denise C. Gottfredson; Stacy S. Najaka; Brook Kearley
Date Published: March 2003
Page Count: 26
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This study examined the effectiveness of drug treatment courts at reducing crime in a population of offenders who are severely drug addicted.
Abstract: In recent years, drug treatment courts have emerged as the latest effort to effectively stop the cycle of drug addiction and criminal behavior in offenders with drug dependency problems. The premise underlying drug treatment courts is that chemical dependency leads to crime because drug addicts are easily reduced to illegal activities if necessary to procure their drug. Opponents question the assumption that drug addiction alone leads to a life of crime. The authors tested whether these drug treatment courts could reduce recidivism levels among a sample of drug-addicted offenders better than other options open to the criminal justice system. Clients at the Baltimore City Drug Treatment Court (BCDTC) were randomly assigned to either the drug treatment court or “treatment as usual” (n = 235). The follow-up period lasted 2 years and revealed that the drug treatment court reduced rates of recidivism among its sample of offenders. Clients in the drug treatment group were significantly less likely to recidivate over the 2-year period than was the group assigned to “treatment as usual.” The use of sanctions for unacceptable behavior and the use of certified drug treatment programs were noted as the main reasons for the success of drug treatment courts. More research is needed to understand the relative impact of the other elements of drug treatment courts: intensive supervision, drug testing, and judicial monitoring. Tables, references
Main Term(s): Criminal justice system effectiveness; Drug Courts
Index Term(s): Deterrence effectiveness; Effectiveness of crime prevention programs; Offenders; Recidivism; Treatment effectiveness
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