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Drug Abusing Women in the Community: The Impact of Drug Court Involvement on Recidivism

NCJ Number
Journal of Drug Issues Volume: 39 Issue: 4 Dated: Fall 2009 Pages: 803-828
Date Published
26 pages

This study compared the outcomes of the use of treatment-oriented drug court between a sample of drug-court participants and a sample of probationers.


Developing community-based options for drug abusing women is important for a variety of reasons. One option that shows promise is the treatment-oriented drug court. Although drug courts enjoy considerable empirical support, relatively few studies have examined the efficacy of this model for women. The current study used a quasi-experimental design to compare outcomes between a sample of moderate to high-risk drug court participants (n=91) and probationers (n=80). Over the course of an average 2 year follow-up period, female drug court participants were found to have significantly lower rates of recidivism than their probation counterparts. The results of an event history analysis confirmed that drug court participants were significantly less likely to recidivate even after controlling for differences in length of follow-up. These findings provide support for the ability of drug court programs to successfully treat drug-involved women. Tables, figure, and references (Published Abstract)

Date Published: January 1, 2009