This study documented the positive impact of drug courts in New York on re-arrest and re-conviction both. If you are looking for ways to implement an effective drug court program or are looking to improve one you already have then you will find some helpful strategies to guide your efforts. This report contains eight chapter following an executive summary: introduction; research design and methodology; profile of drug court participant characteristics; profile of drug court policy characteristics and constructs; the impact of New York State adult drug courts; differential effects based on target population; differential effects based in drug court policies and practices; and conclusions. A few of the key elements in effective drug courts are: be sure to serve a higher-risk population; maximize legal leverage; impose certain sanctions for noncompliance; and use cognitive behavioral therapy and other evidence-based practices (EBPs).
“Dr. Chandler will discuss why punishment alone is an ineffective response to the problem of drug abuse in the criminal justice system … Dr. Chandler will also highlight evidence-based principles of addiction treatment based on an integrated public health/public safety strategy.” Topics discussed include: drugs of abuse and crime are linked; smoking in criminal justice; mental health disorders among incarcerated populations; key participants in the criminal justice system and intervention opportunities; what addiction is—a disease of the brain; reward circuits; dopamine; memory circuits; cocaine craving; treatments for relapse prevention—medications and behavioral; evidence-based principles of drug abuse treatment for criminal justice populations; what recovery looks like on average; assessing risks, needs, and progress; criminal justice CEST (Client Evaluation of Self and Treatment); and tailoring supervision to fit the needs of the individual is important.
“This white paper presents a shared framework for reducing recidivism and behavioral health problems among individuals under correctional control or supervision—that is, for individuals in correctional facilities or who are on probation or parole. The paper is written for policymakers, administrators, and practitioners committed to making the most effective use of scarce resources to improve outcomes for individuals with behavioral health problems who are involved in the corrections system. It is meant to provide a common structure for corrections and treatment system professionals to begin building truly collaborative responses to their overlapping service population. These responses include both behind-the-bars and community-based interventions. This framework is designed to achieve each system’s goals and ultimately to help millions of individuals rebuild their lives while on probation or after leaving prison or jail” (p. viii). Three parts follow an introduction regarding the need for a framework intended for coordinating services across systems: current responses to individuals with mental health and substance use disorders and corrections involvement—mental health treatment, substance abuse treatment, mental health and substance use appearing together, corrections—custody, control, and supervision, screening and assessment, the relationship between behavioral health needs and criminogenic risk/need—assembling the parts, and closing thoughts on RNR (risk-need-responsivity); the framework—strong foundations, criminogenic risk and behavior health needs, application to resource allocation and individual case responses, and goal for the framework’s use; and operationalizing the framework and next steps.
“Drug Courts improve outcomes for drug-abusing offenders by combining evidence-based substance abuse treatment with strict behavioral accountability. Participants are carefully monitored for substance use and related behaviors and receive escalating incentives for accomplishments and sanctions for infractions. The nearly unanimous perception of both participants and staff members is that the positive effects of Drug Courts are largely attributable to the application of these behavioral contingencies … Scientific research over several decades reveals the most effective ways to administer behavior modification programs. Drug Courts that learn these lessons of science reap benefits several times over through better outcomes and greater cost-effectiveness” (p. 1). This publication describes the following science-based practices (also known as evidence-based practices): the carrot and the stick; trust but verify; timing is everything; staying centered; fishing for tangible resources; do due process; whether sanctions or therapeutic consequences; first things first; and phase advancement. Practice Pointers are also provided for each behavior modification strategy.
“[D]espite some recent advances in understanding and acceptance, LGBT [lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender] individuals remain subject to the traumas of negative stereotyping, rejection, marginalization, and discrimination—all of which impede help-seeking behaviors. To compound the problem, LGBT individuals with mental health problems, addictions, or both, may experience additional forms of prejudice and discrimination related to each of those conditions … SAMHSA [Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration] convened the dialogue to develop and/or enhance partnerships among people in recovery, to identify specific factors at the individual and systems levels that can promote or hinder recovery for LGBT individuals, and to help participants gain a better understanding of a variety of perspectives and experiences in advancing recovery for LGBT individuals. In addition, by convening a range of stakeholders to address collaboratively the critical need for improving services, supports, and systems designed to address the mental health and addiction recovery needs of LGBT individuals, SAMHSA anticipated that the suggestions and recommendations summarized in this monograph would serve as a starting point for individuals and organizations interested in taking concrete action to improve recovery opportunities for LGBT individuals. This booklet is comprised of four sections: overview; dialogue themes and findings—eight major themes, personal-level factors that promote or impede recovery, and system and contextual factors that promote or impede recovery; recommendations for action—major and strategic; and milestones in the LGBT mental health consumer movement.
“This Issue Review provides a summary of national and Iowa research on the effectiveness of Adult Drug Courts, an overview of these programs currently operating in Iowa, including a description of offenders served and funding mechanisms, an analysis of the costs and benefits of the Adult Drug Courts operated by Community-Based Corrections, and the estimated need for funding” (p. 1). Sections of this report cover: the current situation in Iowa—funding history, offenders and risk, admissions, closures, and recidivism; cost-benefit analysis—Iowa Results First program, and program fidelity; and budget impact. Every $1.00 spent on the program results in $9.61 in benefits over ten years.
"As resource constraints have tightened, the role of researchers in informing evidence-based and cost-effective decisions about the use of funds, labor, materials and equipment — and even the skills of workers — has increased. We [the authors] believe research that can inform decisions about resource allocation will be a central focus of criminal justice research in the years to come, with cost-benefit analysis (CBA) among the key tools" (p. 3). This is required reading for those individuals tasked with determining what the social impact of a criminal justice program will be (whether a benefit or not). It must be stressed that a CBA estimates social benefits not fiscal savings. This report is comprised of three sections: the basics of cost-benefit analysis—what and why, considerations in valuing time, what CBA can and can't do, and the four steps of a CBA; cost-benefit analysis in action—NIJ's Multi-site Adult Drug Court Evaluation (MADCE); and results from the MADCE cost-benefit analysis.
“CJ-DATS (the national Criminal Justice Drug Abuse Treatment Studies) was created in 2002 with the goal of improving both the public health and public safety outcomes for substance abusing offenders leaving prison or jail and returning to the community by integrating substance abuse treatment into the criminal justice system.” Access points on this webpage are: CJ-DATS-II research centers; CJ-DATS-II studies—Medication-Assisted Treatment Implementation in Community Correctional Environments (MATICCE), HIV Services and Treatment Implementation in Corrections (HIV-STIC), and Assessment Organizational Process Improvement Intervention (OPII); CJ-DATS-I research centers; CJ-DATS-I studies—adolescent interventions; CJ-DATS-I studies—assessing offender problems; CJ-DATS-I studies—HIV and hepatitis risk reduction; CJ-DATS-I studies—linking criminal justice and drug abuse; CJ-DATS-I studies—measuring progress in treatment and recovery; CJ-DATS-I studies—understanding systems; and CJ-DATS bibliography.
“The objective of this review is to systematically review quasi-experimental and experimental (RCT) evaluations of the effectiveness of drug courts in reducing recidivism, including drug courts for juvenile and DWI offenders. This systematic review critically assesses drug courts’ effects on recidivism in the short- and long-term, the methodological soundness of the existing evidence, and the relationship between drug court features and effectiveness” (p. 6). Results are provided for: a description of eligible studies; overall mean effects by type of drug court; robustness of findings to methodological weaknesses; drug courts’ long-term effects; features of the drug court; and additional sensitivity analysis. Overall, research shows that adult drug courts are effective in reducing recidivism, DWI drug courts moderately successful, and juvenile drug courts having small impact.
The need to replace the incarceration of those arrested for non-violent drug possession in Texas with community-based drug treatment is examined. The strategies described in this publication can be effectively used in other agencies. Sections of this report include: background of substance abuse and drug offenses in Texas—costly incarceration, incarceration vs. treatment costs, community supervision as an alternative to incarceration, and recidivism and revocation among individuals with drug offenses; understanding the cycle of drug addiction—related crimes and special considerations; treatment options and information; legislative efforts to improve responses to low-level drug offenses; solutions; and conclusion. “For those with addiction, drug treatment is a more effective strategy to treat the individual, reduce recidivism, and lower costs to the state. Texas should take steps to aggressively and proactively address drug addiction, and thereby decrease associated crime, by promoting medical and public health responses to this issue” (p. 1).