Does extant research indicate that drug courts “work”?
According to numerous studies compiled by the National Institute of Justice, drug courts reduce both recidivism and court costs. In one study, researchers followed two groups of offenders. One group participated in drug court, the other did not. The number of repeat offenses was reduced from 40% to 12% after initiating drug court. In addition, drug courts have been shown to be less expensive than traditional criminal courts by an average of $1,392. Adding together court costs, social harm due to repeat offenses, and the social and physical harm to victims, the National Institute of Justice calculates a total savings of over $12,000 when drug offenders participate in drug court as opposed to traditional criminal court.