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.  http://www.nadcp.org/learn/about-nadcp 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.