Columbia University’s National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse (CASA) has offered the most important evaluation of drug court efficacy so far. According to the survey, drug courts endow with thorough, more far-reaching supervision and a lot more recurrent drug testing and monitoring for the period of the course, than other types of community supervision. What is essential, rate of drug use and illegal conducts are significantly lowered as delinquents are participating in drug court.
Though drug courts have been working for a relatively short period of time comparing to usual models of supervising delinquents, and program techniques are still developing, satisfactory review provides an up to date evaluation of the level to which they are attaining their basic goal of placing and retaining drug delinquents in drug-free program, lowering criminal justice expenses and the rate of imprisonment for those drug delinquents who do not endanger the community (Belenko, 1999). The main goal of drug court program also includes reduced drug use and recidivism.
Drug court investigation has integrated 3 types of study: 1) Process or Operations Evaluation, which represents the drug court as it has been put into operation. Generally contains fundamental explanatory data regarding the clients and program procedures. 2) Cost Savings Analysis, that is analysis of costs and benefits. 3) Impact Evaluations. This evaluation method is used to study the effect of drug courts on the participants compared to similar drug delinquents who deal with traditional courts.
In accordance with survey data, degree of retention in drug treatment for drug courts is clearly superior to the typical retention level for criminal justice delinquents in particular and therapy clients in general. Derived from the American University drug court review information and various investigation statistics, approximately 60% of drug offenders who take part in drug courts programs continue participation after 1 year (Hennessy, 2001).
Though for the majority of drug courts program duration of not less 1 year is required, the rate of all admissions that really finish the program is to some extent lower than the 1-year retention percentage. The latest review of treatment results showed that 50% of individuals who entered treatment programs stayed less than 3 months. Retention is one of the main factors of constructive after-treatment results. Various evaluations show that dosage, that is, duration of the program, may influence results. The rate of after-treatment recidivism is inversely proportional to the continuance of the program (Belenko, 2000).
This conclusion is compatible with common beliefs in the treatment results studies and indicates that the good effect of drug courts might be improved by tactics and measures that prolong the participation in the program. As maintained by numerous surveys and American University’s general drug court investigation, the majority of drug courts provides complete control of delinquents by means of regular court investigations, obligatory recurrent drug tests and fixed accounts from caregivers (American University, 2001).
The usual drug court requires frequent inquiries in order to evaluate improvement in the course and pass resolutions about restrictions and rewards. One of the imperative issues about drug courts is whether the expenses of running such programs are less than the financial benefits or expense savings that accumulate for the reason that imprisonment period is decreased or therapy lowers the chances of recidivism (Nolan, 2001).
Several drug court reviews have tried to calculate such expense savings, some used rather simple formulas and suppositions, and others applied more complicated methods that to envisage prospect savings in community healthiness and benefit in addition to criminal justice expenses. The common conclusion from the reviews offered is that drug courts engender savings in prison expenses, particularly for pretrial arrest. Several investigations have collected information on drug use and recidivism during the participation in the drug court program.
Derived from urine test results, the rate of drug use is considerably lowered during the course. Some evaluations have inspected the level of drug use after the program. According to the collected data the rate of drug use is significantly reduced for those who take part in drug court program than for comparison group cases. In keeping with study of repeated arrest level for the period of participation in the drug court program, illegal conduct was significantly lowered throughout the course.
Along with more incomplete information, drug courts recidivism is reduced to a lesser but still noteworthy degree for clients after they finish the program. Perchance equally significant for the prospect of the criminal courts model, drug courts have displayed the practicability of applying a problem solving method founded on team-work in order to adjudicate delinquents with drug issues using methods that appear to lower system expenses and improve community protection (Belenko, 1999).
Drug courts turned out to be more advantageous comparing to other models of community supervision in close supervision of drug delinquents by means of regulations and control as well as obligatory recurrent drug testing, accepting drug delinquents in rehabilitation programs, offering treatment and correlated assistance to those who have not received it formerly, generating actual and prospective expense savings and lowering drug use and the rate of recidivism to a large extent. Reference List 1) Hennessy, J. J. , Pallone, N. J. (2001) Drug Courts in Operation: Current Research.
New York, Haworth Press. 2) Nolan, J. L. (2001) Reinventing Justice: The American Drug Court Movement. Princeton University Press. 3) Belenko, S. (1999). Research on drug courts: A critical review 1999 update. National Drug Court Institute Review. 4) American University. (2001). Drug court activity update: Composite summary information, May 2001. Washington, DC: U. S. Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs, Drug Court Clearinghouse and Technical Assistance Project. 5) Belenko, S. (2000). The challenges of integrating drug treatment into the criminal justice process. Albany Law Review.