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Exploratory Analysis of Client Outcomes, Costs, and Benefits of Day Reporting Centers -- Final Report

NCJ Number
Date Published
March 2000
37 pages
This exploratory study examined the cost-effectiveness of two day reporting centers (DRCs) that serve high-risk/high-need probationers with substance abuse problems.
The two DRCs are in Wisconsin, one in a small rural town and the other in a small city. Both centers are operated by the same private, nonprofit organization and have almost identical schedules and content. Program content addresses three general areas: alcohol and other drug abuse, criminality, and independent living skills. This exploratory study first examined rearrest among clients. Next, it compared DRC clients with two comparison groups of probationers. One group corresponded to the population eligible for DRC programs, and the other group consisted of high-risk/high-need probationers who are the target population for the DRC programs. The study also examined the net benefits (costs) to the criminal justice system of both DRC's. Because of the small sample sizes and exploratory nature of the study, the results are suggestive and impressionistic rather than definitive. Logistic regression models show that completion of the DRC program was associated with a lower chance of rearrest. This model also supports dominant findings in the literature that extent of prior record is a strong predictor of future criminality and that younger offenders tend to have higher recidivism. The average DRC program completer in the rural program apparently saved the criminal justice system approximately $1,893 during the 12-month follow-up period. In the urban county, probation officers primarily referred their most troublesome supervisees to the DRC as an alternative to revocation. The average program completer cost the system approximately $359. Without access to the DRC, however, costs to the system would have been much greater. 5 tables, 2 figures, and 23 references

Date Published: March 1, 2000