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Decade of Drug Treatment Court Research

NCJ Number
Substance Use & Misuse Volume: 37 Issue: 12 & 13 Dated: October/November 2002 Pages: 1489-1527
Date Published
October 2002
39 pages

This article reviews the 10 years of drug treatment court research conducted at RAND, including the Maricopa experimental field evaluation, and presents summaries of findings, a description of a drug treatment court typology, and recommendations for future research areas of focus.


Maricopa County's drug testing and treatment options are described in this article by means of a 14-site national evaluation of courts, funded in 1995-1996 by the Drug Court Program Office. The line of research undertaken by colleagues at RAND is described including a discussion of key findings, the rationale for the limits placed on the program, and recommendations for ways to learn more. Topic areas include drug treatment court movement history; drug treatment court effectiveness; RAND studies; an experimental evaluation of Maricopa County's drug treatment court; a 3-year follow-up of Maricopa County's drug treatment court participants; national evaluation of 14 drug treatment court programs; collaborative linkages; extending the drug treatment court model to DUI courts; and a discussion of why more is not known about drug treatment court effectiveness. In conclusion, it is noted that more sophisticated research is called for to strengthen weak evaluation designs with accompanying development of management information systems. Tables provide information on selected background characteristics of first time drug offender (FTDO) participants; selected background characteristics of self-report drug treatment court sample; and sites involved in the national evaluation. References

Date Published: October 1, 2002