Research and Special Projects

Drug Court Evaluation

Copyright 2009 - Joint Center on Violence and Victim Studies. No part of this report may be replicated without permission by the JCVVS and author.

Abstract

The court system in a mid-sized city received a grant from the U.S. Department of Justice to enhance an existing drug court program and evaluate effectiveness. The probation department contracted with the Joint Center on Violence and Victim Studies to complete the evaluation, who utilized the expertise of Jay Memmott from Washburn University to complete the evaluation.

The evaluation was met with many challenges, mostly in terms of insufficient data both in terms of the existing data management systems, incomplete information provided by drug court clients, extent of support and endorsement by criminal justice agents (judiciary, prosecution, probation staff). While the drug court program appears to offer value, evaluation results are inconclusive due to the various challenges listed. Recommendations for improved organizational support and data collection are provided. Drug court programs, as well as other intervention programs, would be served by considering these recommendations.

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