Drug Courts: Better DOJ Data Collection and Evaluation Efforts Needed to Measure Impact of Drug Court Programs

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A letter report issued by the General Accounting Office with an abstract that begins "In exchange for the possibility of dismissed charges or reduced sentences, defendants with substance abuse problems agree to be assigned to drug court programs. In drug courts, judges generally preside over the proceedings; monitor the progress of defendants; and prescribe sanctions and rewards in collaboration with prosecutors, defense attorneys, and treatment providers. Most decisions about drug court operations are left to local jurisdictions. Although programs funded by the Drug Court Program Office (DCPO) must collect and provide performance measurement and outcome data, the Department of Justice ... continued below

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United States. General Accounting Office. April 18, 2002.

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Description

A letter report issued by the General Accounting Office with an abstract that begins "In exchange for the possibility of dismissed charges or reduced sentences, defendants with substance abuse problems agree to be assigned to drug court programs. In drug courts, judges generally preside over the proceedings; monitor the progress of defendants; and prescribe sanctions and rewards in collaboration with prosecutors, defense attorneys, and treatment providers. Most decisions about drug court operations are left to local jurisdictions. Although programs funded by the Drug Court Program Office (DCPO) must collect and provide performance measurement and outcome data, the Department of Justice (DOJ) has not effectively managed this effort because of (1) its inability to readily identify the universe of DCPO-funded drug court programs, including those subject to DCPO's data collection reporting requirements; (2) its inability to accurately determine the number of drug court programs responding to DCPO's semiannual data collection survey; (3) inefficiencies in the administration of DCPO's semiannual data collection effort; (4) the elimination of post-program impact questions from the data collection survey effort; and (5) the lack of use of the Drug Court Clearinghouse. Various administrative and research factors have also hampered DOJ's ability to complete the two-phase National Institute of Justice-sponsored national impact evaluation study. As a result, DOJ continues to lack vital information needed to determine the overall impact of federally funded programs and to assess whether drug court programs use federal funds effectively."

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Government Accountability Office Reports

The U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) is an independent, nonpartisan agency that works for the U.S. Congress investigating how the federal government spends taxpayers' money. Its goal is to increase accountability and improve the performance of the federal government. The Government Accountability Office Reports Collection consists of over 13,000 documents on a variety of topics ranging from fiscal issues to international affairs.

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  • April 18, 2002

Added to The UNT Digital Library

  • June 11, 2014, 5:03 a.m.

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United States. General Accounting Office. Drug Courts: Better DOJ Data Collection and Evaluation Efforts Needed to Measure Impact of Drug Court Programs, report, April 18, 2002; Washington D.C.. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc293000/: accessed September 25, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.