article3 - JOURNAL OF DRUG ISSUES 31(1), 149-176, 2001 DRUG...

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JOURNAL OF DRUG ISSUES 31(1), 149-176, 2001 DRUG COURTS AND RECIDIVISM: THE RESULTS OF AN EVALUATION USING TWO COMPARISON GROUPS AND MULTIPLE INDICATORS OF RECIDIVISM CASSIA SPOHN, R.K. PIPER, TOM MARTIN, ERIKA DAVIS FRENZEL Increases in the number of drug offenders appearing in state and federal courts, coupled with mounting evidence of both the linkages between drug use and crime and the efficacy of drug treatment programs, led many Jurisdictions to implement drug treatment courts. Although these courts vary on a number of dimensions, most are designed to reduce drug use and criminai behavior among drug-involved offenders. This study evaluates the effectiveness of one drug court-the Douglas County (Omaha), Nebraska Drug Court-in reducing offender recidivism. We use a variety of analytical techniques to compare drug court participants and offenders in two matched comparison groups on a number of measures of recidivism. Our results reveal that drug court participants have substantially lower rates of recidivism than traditionaily adjudicated felony drug offenders, and that the differences in recidivism rates betyveen drug court participants and drug offenders who participated in a diversion program prior to the implementation ofthe drug court disappeared once we controlled for the offender's assessed level of risk, as indicated by his/her LSI score. The past two decades have witnessed dramatic growth in the United States prison population. There were nearly 1.3 million persons incarcerated in state and federal prisons as of midyear 1999, compared to less than a quarter million in 1975 Cassia Spohn, Ph.D., is Professor of CriminalJustice at the University of Nebraska at Omaha. She is the co-author of two books; The Color of Justice: Race, Ethnicity, and Crime in America (with Sam Walker and Miriam DeLone) and Rape Law Reform: A Grassroots Movement and Its Impact (with Julie Horney). She has published a number of articles examining prosecutors' charging decisions in sexual assault cases and exploring the effect of race/ethnicity on charging and sentencing decisions. R.K. Piper is a research analyst for the Institute for Social and Economic Development (Iowa City, Iowa) and coordinator of the Nebraska branch office. Thomas J. Martin, Ph.D., is a Research Fellow at the Institute for Social and Economic Development in Coralville, Iowa. His current research interests include juvenile and criminal justice and behavioral health program evaluation. Erika Davis Frenzel is a doctoral student at the University of Nebraska at Omaha. She is currently working on an evaluation of the Pottawattamie Co. (Council Bluffs), Iowa Drug Court. JOURNAL DRUG ISSUES 0022-0426/01/01 149-176
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SPOHN, PIPER, MARTIN, FRENZEL (Bureau of Justice Statistics, 1999). Most commentators attribute this fivefold increase to increasingly severe sentencing practices for drug offenses (Mauer 1999; Skolnick, 1997; Tonry, 1995). Mauer (1999, p. 32), for example, notes that the risk of receiving a prison sentence for a drug offense increased by 447 percent between 1980 and 1992. Statistics concerning the offenses for which state and
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This note was uploaded on 08/30/2009 for the course ENGL emch taught by Professor A during the Spring '09 term at Pennsylvania State University, University Park.

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article3 - JOURNAL OF DRUG ISSUES 31(1), 149-176, 2001 DRUG...

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