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Testing the Cost Savings of Judicial Diversion, Final Report

NCJ Number
Mark S. Waller; Shannon M. Carey, Ph.D.; Erin J. Farley, Ph.D.; Michael Rempel
Date Published
March 2013
84 pages
This study evaluated the cost savings of judicial diversion programs in the New York State Unified Court System.
This final report presents the results of an evaluation on the cost savings of judicial diversion programs in the New York State Unified Court System. The target population of the judicial programs is New York State defendants arraigned on felony-level drug or property charges as specified in the State code. The evaluation examined the programs impacts on treatment enrollment levels, sentencing outcomes, and costs and savings to the judicial system resulting from the programs. Findings from the evaluation of these three areas include the following: court-ordered treatment enrollment increased 77 percent, yet declined by 20 percent in the second and third years post-implementation; the greatest increase in enrollment was seen in the New York City suburban region; judicial diversion participants were less likely to be sentenced to jail, receive a split jail/probation sentence, or straight probation than defendants in a comparison group; and while, the average cost per participant in the judicial diversion program was significantly higher than that for defendants whose cases were resolved in a conventional manner, the overall net savings to the system from keeping defendants out of jail through the diversion programs was significantly higher than the costs. These findings indicate that the judicial diversion programs for felony-level drug and property offenders in New York State have been successful at reducing costs to the State judicial system. Data for the evaluation came from comparison of program participants for the period October 2008 through October 2010. Tables, figures, references, and appendixes