skip navigation


Register for Latest Research

Stay Informed
Register with NCJRS to receive NCJRS's biweekly e-newsletter JUSTINFO and additional periodic emails from NCJRS and the NCJRS federal sponsors that highlight the latest research published or sponsored by the Office of Justice Programs.

NCJRS Abstract

The document referenced below is part of the NCJRS Virtual Library collection. To conduct further searches of the collection, visit the Virtual Library. See the Obtain Documents page for direction on how to access resources online, via mail, through interlibrary loans, or in a local library.


NCJ Number: 220271 Find in a Library
Title: Drug Court Program Monitoring: Lessons Learned About Program Implementation and Research Methodology
Journal: Criminal Justice Policy Review  Volume:18  Issue:3  Dated:September 2007  Pages:294-312
Author(s): Andrew L. Giacomazzi; Valerie Bell
Date Published: September 2007
Page Count: 19
Type: Program/Project Evaluation
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This article reviews the implementation of a drug court in a Southern State, discusses benchmarks for effective programs from the drug-court literature, and examines findings and lessons learned about program implementation and research methodology from a process evaluation that used multiple methods for assessing program implementation.
Abstract: The process evaluation of a drug court found clear evidence that the program as implemented complies with benchmarks identified in the literature as "best practices" for drug court operations. The benchmarks include the use of empirically validated and theoretically driven treatment models, ongoing judicial interaction with each drug court participant through regular status hearings, ongoing assessments of treatment services, internal evaluations of drug-court staff regarding service delivery as well as external evaluations of program process and outcomes, the use of a compliance officer to reward cooperation and respond effectively to noncompliance, drug testing, and the use of a collaborative rather than an adversarial processing of cases. Multiple methods were used in assessing the implementation of the drug court. These included face-to-face interviews with all key program personnel, a focus group interview of drug court clients, observations of drug court proceedings, a review of existing county drug court documents, and the collection of archival data from client files. One of the lessons learned is that conducting comprehensive presite interviews helps in establishing the credibility of the researchers with program administrators. A second lesson learned is that researchers should not only compare program implementation with benchmarks in the literature, but also those set by the drug court being studied. Other lessons are that researchers should inform program administrators about the nature of the evaluation process and that researchers should be open to changing research plans once in the field. 1 table, appended presite interview, and 22 references
Main Term(s): Drug Courts
Index Term(s): Evaluation criteria; Evaluation measures; Evaluative research; Program implementation; Research methods
To cite this abstract, use the following link:

*A link to the full-text document is provided whenever possible. For documents not available online, a link to the publisher's website is provided. Tell us how you use the NCJRS Library and Abstracts Database - send us your feedback.