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“The Effectiveness of Drug Court Programming for Specific Kinds of Offenders: Methamphetamine and DWI Offenders Versus Other Drug-Involved Offenders”

Bouffard, Jeffrey A.
June 4, 2015

Source: (2007) Criminal Justice Policy Review,. 18(3):274-293.

Numerous evaluations have documented that drug court programs can and do work
(Belenko, 1998, 1999, 2001; Gottfredson, Najaka, & Kearly, 2003); however, to date,
less attention has been paid to specific issues such as how well drug courts work for
certain types of offenders. In particular, there has been a lack of attention paid to the
personal characteristics that may be thought of as “risk factors” among participants,
especially their drug of choice. Of particular interest in this study are the following
questions: First, are drug courts equally effective for offenders charged with
methamphetamine-related crimes versus other types of drug offenders? Second, is the
drug court model equally effective for offenders charged with Driving While
Intoxicated (DWI) compared to other types of drug-involved offenders? Data from a
hybrid drug court operating in a small urban area in the upper Midwest was used to
examine the above questions. Information on 87 individuals who had participated in
this drug court program and 124 similar offenders who were sentenced to prison
followed by traditional parole were analyzed. Results indicated that the drug court
reduced recidivism for methamphetamine-involved and other types of drug-using
offenders; however, among DWI offenders, drug court graduation was not related to
reduced recidivism, as it was among non-DWI offenders. Implications for drug court
programming and future research are discussed.


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