Research Summary: Study randomly assigned 235 offenders to drug treatment court (DTC) or “treatment as usual.” Analyses of official records collected over a two-year follow-up period show that DTC is reducing crime in a population of drug-addicted offenders. DTC subjects who participated in treatment were significantly less likely to recidivate than were both untreated drug court subjects and control subjects.
Policy Implications: Continued enthusiasm for DTCs is warranted. Both sanctions and treatment are important elements of the DTC model. However, DTCs will not necessarily result in cost reductions because DTC and control cases are incarcerated for approximately equal numbers of days. Implementation fidelity is important, and DTCs can be strengthened if they engage a higher percentage of their clients in drug treatment.