Adult Drug Courts: Evidence Indicates Recidivism Reductions and Mixed Results for Other Outcomes

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A letter report issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "Drug court programs, which were established in the late 1980s as a local response to increasing numbers of drug-related cases and expanding jail and prison populations, have become popular nationwide in the criminal justice system. These programs are designed to reduce defendants' repeated crime (that is, recidivism), and substance abuse behavior by engaging them in a judicially monitored substance abuse treatment. However, determining whether drug court programs are effective at reducing recidivism and substance use has been challenging because of a large amount of weak empirical ... continued below

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United States. Government Accountability Office. February 28, 2005.

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Description

A letter report issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "Drug court programs, which were established in the late 1980s as a local response to increasing numbers of drug-related cases and expanding jail and prison populations, have become popular nationwide in the criminal justice system. These programs are designed to reduce defendants' repeated crime (that is, recidivism), and substance abuse behavior by engaging them in a judicially monitored substance abuse treatment. However, determining whether drug court programs are effective at reducing recidivism and substance use has been challenging because of a large amount of weak empirical evidence. he 21st Century Department of Justice Appropriations Authorization Act requires that GAO assess drug court program effectiveness. To meet this mandate, GAO conducted a systematic review of drug court program research, from which it selected 27 evaluations of 39 adult drug court programs that met its criteria for, among other things, methodological soundness. This report describes the results of that review of published evaluations of adult drug court programs, particularly relating to (1) recidivism outcomes, (2) substance use relapse, (3) program completion, and (4) the costs and benefits of drug court programs. DOJ reviewed a draft of this report and had no comments. Office of National Drug Control Policy reviewed a draft of this report and generally agreed with the findings."

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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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  • February 28, 2005

Added to The UNT Digital Library

  • June 12, 2014, 7:50 p.m.

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United States. Government Accountability Office. Adult Drug Courts: Evidence Indicates Recidivism Reductions and Mixed Results for Other Outcomes, report, February 28, 2005; Washington D.C.. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc302987/: accessed September 25, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.