Journal of Offender Rehabilitation Volume: 50 Issue: 1-4 Dated: May - June 2011 Pages: 191-201
This study sought to overcome concerns present in comparison groups in drug treatment courts.
Drug treatment courts (DTCs) are widely viewed as effective diversion programs for drug-involved offenders; however, previous studies frequently used flawed comparison groups. In the current study, the author compared rates of recidivism for drug court participants to rates for a traditionally adjudicated comparison group matched on potentially important characteristics. The Wisconsin Circuit Court database was searched for individuals with drug-related charges during the period from 2004-2006. Of the resulting data set, 137 DTC participants were identified. These DTC participants were then matched on age, gender, ethnicity, and criminal history to traditionally adjudicated individuals (non-DTC, n = 274). Kaplan-Meier curves of time to new crime were compared for the two main study groups and for potentially important subgroups. The DTC group demonstrated longer time to new crime (p = 0.028). Reductions in recidivism for DTC versus non-DTC were enhanced for women, older individuals, minorities, and those with more serious criminal histories. (Published Abstract)
United States of America