RecoverOZ - Melbourne addiction recovery



Effectiveness of Drug Courts in USA

November 7, 2013       

The following is taken from the website of The National Association of Drug Court Professionals (NADCP) in the USA. This extraordinary group of innovative judges, prosecutors, defence attorneys, and clinical professionals created a common-sense approach to improving the justice system by using a combination of judicial monitoring and effective treatment to compel drug-using offenders to change their lives. All things being equal, I see no reason why the same facts should be any different in this country.


They say:

Drug Courts Reduce Crime

FACT: Nationwide, 75% of Drug Court graduates remain arrest-free at least two years after leaving the program.

FACT: Rigorous studies examining long-term outcomes of individual Drug Courts have found that reductions in crime last at least 3 years and can endure for over 14 years.

FACT: The most rigorous and conservative scientific “meta-analyses” have all concluded that Drug Courts significantly reduce crime as much as 45% more than other sentencing options.


Drug Courts Save Money

FACT: Nationwide, for every $1.00 invested in Drug Court, taxpayers save as much as $3.36 in avoided criminal justice costs alone.

FACT: When considering other cost offsets such as savings from reduced victimization and healthcare service utilization, studies have shown benefits range up to $27 for every $1 invested.

FACT: Drug Courts produce cost savings ranging from $3,000 to $13,000 per client. These cost savings reflect reduced prison costs, reduced revolving-door arrests and trials, and reduced victimization.

FACT: In 2007, for every Federal dollar invested in Drug Court, $9.00 was leveraged in state funding.


Drug Courts Ensure Compliance

FACT: Unless substance abusing/addicted offenders are regularly supervised by a judge and held accountable, 70% drop out of treatment prematurely.

FACT: Drug Courts provide more comprehensive and closer supervision than other community-based supervision programs.

FACT: Drug Courts are six times more likely to keep offenders in treatment long enough for them to get better.


Drug Courts Combat meth addiction

FACT: For methamphetamine-addicted people, Drug Courts increase treatment program graduation rates by nearly 80%.

FACT: When compared to eight other programs, Drug Courts quadrupled the length of abstinence from methamphetamine.

FACT: Drug Courts reduce methamphetamine use by more than 50% compared to outpatient treatment alone.


Drug Courts Restore Families

FACT: Parents in Family Drug Court are twice as likely to go to treatment and complete it.

FACT: Children of Family Drug Court participants spend significantly less time in out-of-home placements such as foster care.

FACT: Family re-unification rates are 50% higher for Family Drug Court participants.

Much of the formal structure of our One Drug Court here in Australia is a fair way from what is at present happening. However, with a solid structure of Housing, Recovery Program and Job Prospects are in place, there is no reason why we should not achieve the same outcomes in Australia.