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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 201171 Find in a Library
Title: Effect of Drug Court Programming on Recidivism: The Cincinnati Experience
Journal: Crime & Delinquency  Volume:49  Issue:3  Dated:July 2003  Pages:389-441
Author(s): Shelley Johnson Listwan; Jody L. Sundt; Alexander M. Holsinger; Edward J. Latessa
Editor(s): Ronald E. Vogel
Date Published: July 2003
Page Count: 23
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This study explored the effectiveness of one drug court located in Cincinnati, OH, in an attempt to add to the limited drug court research.
Abstract: Within less than a decade, almost every State in the United States has implemented a drug court. This movement in drug courts can be traced to a number of factors, such as the cost of imprisonment and the effectiveness of community-based treatment. Drug courts have altered the way court systems process drug cases and respond to drug-using offenders. The drug court model is based on the premise that a more flexible approach to treating drug-addicted offenders in combination with increased court involvement and treatment oversight will result in less drug dependency and reduce recidivism. This study examined the effect of drug court programming on multiple indicators of recidivism through the Hamilton County Drug Court program in Cincinnati, OH. To assess the effect of participation in the Hamilton County Drug Court, this evaluation used a nonequivalent control group design. Included in the evaluation were all individuals arrested and processed by pretrial services between March 1995 and October 1996 and who qualified for participation in the drug court. Information was obtained on demographics and Offender Profile Index (OPI) data, sentences, number of status review hearings, and prior record, recidivism, and incarceration. Overall the research provides mixed evidence that the drug court program was effective at reducing drug-related arrests and general criminality during the first year of operation. Initial comparisons of recidivism rates indicated no significant differences between the drug court treatment and comparison groups under study. In exploring the effect of the degree or intensity of drug court involvement on recidivism, the results indicate that attending status review hearings was not related to arrest for a drug offense. It was concluded that the level of drug court involvement exerted an effect on recidivism as measured by a drug-related arrest. It is argued that the voluntary nature of the program should not negate the merit of the study findings. References
Main Term(s): Drug Courts
Index Term(s): Case management; Case processing; Court reform; Drug offenders; Drug treatment; Juvenile drug courts; Ohio; Program evaluation; Recidivism; Voluntary treatment
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