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APHA Scientific Session and Event Listing

Drug court best practices: Lower recidivism and lower costs

Shannon Carey, PhD, Katharina Wiest, PhD, and Mike Finigan, PhD. NPC Research, 4380 SW Macadam Ave., Suite 530, Portland, OR 97239, 503-243-2436 ex 112, wiest@npcresearch.com

NPC Research has performed process, outcome, and cost evaluations in multiple drug court programs in California, Indiana, Maryland, Michigan, New York, Oregon, Arizona and Guam. These projects focused primarily on adult and juvenile drug courts. Our presentation will highlight possible Best Practices as measured by positive outcomes and lower costs for Drug Court participants from our research. Across all states and all studies, there are consistent findings: drug court participants have lower recidivism rates and show net cost savings per participant. For example, in 9 California drug courts, the average re-arrest rate for drug court graduates was 17% and for all drug court participants (regardless of graduation status) was 29%, compared to an average rate of 41% for the comparison group. Investment in drug court participants ranged from about $5,000 to over $18,000 per participant; while a similar range was found for traditional court processing of $5,000 to over $15,000 per offender. Outcome (or impact) costs focused on recidivism including re-arrests, new court cases, jail/prison/probation time served, and victimization costs due to person or property crimes. Outcomes also included treatment episodes occurring after drug court program exit. Outcome benefits varied among sites ranging from about $3,200 to over $15,000 saved per participant. The average net benefit was $11,000 per participant. Although positive outcomes were consistent across studies, those that did not follow Best Practices based in part on the Ten Key Components of Drug Court (consistent judicial supervision, frequent drug tests, etc.) had poorer outcomes than the other sites.

Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of the session, the participant (learner) in this session will be able to

Keywords: Drug Abuse, Criminal Justice

Related Web page: www.npcresearch.com

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Not Answered

Recovery, Spirituality, Relapse, and Recidivism Poster Session

The 134th Annual Meeting & Exposition (November 4-8, 2006) of APHA