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Fidelity to the Evidence-Based Drug Court Model: An Examination of the Adult Redeploy Illinois Programs

NCJ Number
Jessica Reichert; Risa Sacomani; Sara Gonzales
Date Published
December 2015
55 pages
This study examined the features of drug courts in five Illinois counties to determine whether they have faithfully implemented 10 key components of a model, evidence-based drug court.
Overall, the five drug court programs examined were faithful to most key components of the drug court model. All drug courts identify eligible participants early and promptly place them in the program; facilitate access to a continuum of alcohol, drug, and other related treatment and rehabilitation; have frequent drug testing to measure abstinence; have ongoing judicial interaction with participants, including regular status hearings; and monitor and evaluate program goals and effectiveness. The evaluation recommends that staff meetings include all stakeholders on the drug court team, since evaluators found that several key team members were missing from staff meetings at all five courts. A second recommendation is that participants be connected to a variety of comprehensive services. Some services that are missing are identified. A third recommendation is that drug testing technology be used strategically; drug testing two to three times per week on a random basis has the greatest impact, and results should be known within 48 hours of the testing. Other recommendations are to use best practices for sanctions and incentives, improve training protocols, and use research to guide drug court operations. 2 tables, 35 references, and appended interview questions and listing of drug court training resources