Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2005, $284,715)
The research will examine two methods of criminal justice policy to provide treatment as an alternative to incarceration for non-violent offenders: one through drug courts and the other is state-wide policy reforms which mandate treatment for all non-violent drug offenders. The research is designed to answer five policy questions: 1) What is the relative success rate (measured by program completion and recidivism) of the drug court program model compared to state mandated non-drug court treatment models? 2) How have drug courts changed with the implementation of these state mandated programs? 3) What is the success rate of drug court before implementation compared to after? 4) What are the relative investment and outcome costs of drug courts compared to these state mandated programs? 5) What are the investment and outcome costs of drug courts before implementation compared to after? The research builds upon previous work in two jurisdictions in California before and after the implementation of Substance Abuse and Crime Prevention Act. Propensity scoring will be used to match the samples within sites on demographics, prior criminal and treatment history. The results for state mandated non-drug court treatment programs will be compared to drug court results before and after implementation of the mandate. Results for drug courts post implementation will be compared to drug courts prior to implementation. Tests of significance will examine differences between the groups.