Type of Document Dissertation Author Neal, Roderick Q Author's Email Address firstname.lastname@example.org URN etd-10072010-154205 Title The State of the Drug Court: A Systematic and Critical Analysis of Drug Court Evaluations Degree PhD Department Sociology Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title Shoemaker, Donald J. Committee Chair Bailey, Carol A. Committee Member Fuller, Theodore D. Committee Member Wimberley, Dale W. Committee Member Keywords
- Drug Courts
Date of Defense 2010-05-14 Availability unrestricted Abstract
The State of the Drug Court:
A Systematic and Critical Analysis
of Drug Court Evaluations
Roderick Q. Neal
Drug courts have become an important part of adult and juvenile corrections. Since the
establishment of the first adult drug court in 1989, the therapeutic court model has developed, and
can now be considered a significant component in American criminal justice.
The problem is adult drug courts have faced considerable disapproval in the area of
evaluation and documentation. Through the Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA), the federal
government allots millions of dollars to support drug court programs; there have been attempts to
count and record the activities of these programs with little success, there is little uniform data on
actual drug court success nationwide.
The intent of this dissertation was to systematically and critically analyze drug court
evaluations. My major goal was to demonstrate the need for uniformity in regards to assessing the
impacts on outcomes. I analyzed drug court evaluations and their attempt to identify factors that
contribute to graduation, in-program recidivism/ retention rates, drug treatment relapse and postprogram
recidivism rates. Forty drug court evaluations were used in this examination. Further, I
introduced a model that will aid in examining the impacts on outcome. My studies’ unit of
analysis is the evaluation report. I attempted to explain specific issues, such as how well drug
courts work for different types of offenders. I was also able to generate a well founded policy
recommendation for the evaluation of drug courts based on empirical data and literature.
Conclusions show that Drug Courts do reduce post-program recidivism however there were
certain impacts on graduation and termination rates. I also demonstrated the need for more
methodologically sound and uniform evaluations in order to determine effectiveness.
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