U.S. flag

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

Maricopa County's Drug Court: An Innovative Program for First- Time Drug Offenders on Probation

NCJ Number
Justice System Journal Volume: 17 Issue: 1 Dated: special issue (1994) Pages: 99-115
Date Published
17 pages
The Maricopa County (Arizona) First Time Drug Offender (FTDO) program is a postadjudication program for offenders sentenced to probation for a felony drug offense.

Its four key elements include structural accountability, judicial control, individual accountability, and progressive sanctions. A contract with the client specifies the number of drug education classes, counseling sessions, probation officer contacts, negative urine tests, and payment of fees required to progress to the next phase of the program. The major issues encountered in program design and implementation were lack of funding for urine testing, the unavailability of adequate treatment, and the overuse of revocation as a response to positive drug tests. For the evaluation study, a total of 639 offenders were assigned to one of four probation tracks: no drug tests, monthly random drug testing with one bimonthly probation visit, biweekly scheduled urine testing with one bimonthly probation visit, and drug court with drug testing and treatment provided by an outside contractor under the probation officer's supervision. The results showed that the drug court option seemed to increase the proportion of offenders who completed or stayed in the program; drug court participants were also less likely to be revoked and sentenced for probation violations. 1 table, 3 figures, 19 notes, and 16 references

Date Published: January 1, 1994