U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government, Department of Justice.

NCJRS Virtual Library

The Virtual Library houses over 235,000 criminal justice resources, including all known OJP works.
Click here to search the NCJRS Virtual Library

Expungement of Arrest Records in Drug Court: Do Clients Know What They're Missing?

NCJ Number
Drug Court Review Volume: 5 Issue: 1 Dated: 2005 Pages: 1-21
David S. Festinger Ph.D.; David S. DeMatteo Ph.D.; Douglas B. Marlowe Ph.D.; Patricia A. Lee M.S.
Date Published
21 pages
This study investigated the extent of knowledge on the process and benefits of arrest record expungement among a sample of drug court participants.
The findings point to the need for enhanced strategies that ensure drug court graduates who qualify for expungement will ultimately pursue it. The three main findings indicated that: (1) one-half of drug court clients could not correctly define the term expungement; (2) only 2 percent of clients could identify all the requirements to obtain an expungement; and (3) only a few of the clients could identify more than one potential benefit of expungement. The results further indicated that for those clients who understood the concept of expungement, 88 percent reported that the potential for expungement was central to their decision to participate in drug court. Participants were 191 drug offenders enrolled in 1 of 3 misdemeanor or 3 felony drug courts in Delaware and Pennsylvania. Participants completed surveys within 2 weeks of entering drug court that included five open-ended questions and two Likert-scale questions measuring participant’s knowledge of the process and benefits of arrest record expungement. Future research should investigate the possibility of using record expungement to promote participation in aftercare programming. Tables, footnotes, references


No download available