AT drug courts bad
Drug courts decrease recidivism, Dwight Vick writes,
Dwight Vick, Ph.D. and Jennifer Lamb Keating. ARTICLE: COMMUNITY-BASED DRUG COURTS: EMPIRICAL SUCCESS. WILL SOUTH DAKOTA FOLLOW SUIT?
Copyright (c) 2007 South Dakota Law Review
South Dakota Law Review [Dr. Vick is currently an assistant professor of political science at University of South Dakota, Vermillion, S.D. A special thanks to Paul W. Tschetter
for his assistance with formatting this article.]
Focusing on recidivism rates, several studies have shown that drug court clients were significantly less
than control subjects to not only be rearrested for a drug offense, but were also less likely
rearrested for any type of offense. An analysis
of official records collected over a two-year period
confirmed that drug court reduced crime among the drug-addicted population.
122 A separate study of two
drug courts over a thirty-month period revealed that graduates of drug court were much less likely to be
arrested and had fewer arrests during this period compared to probationers and non-graduates. 123 This
study suggested that rates of arrest during the thirty-month period declined in direct relationship to the
duration of drug court [*302] involvement. 124 Furthermore, graduates of the program had lower rates of
125 In a different review completed by Roman, Townsend, and Bhati, 126 16.4% of a
nationwide sample of seventeen thousand drug court graduates had been rearrested and charged with a
felony offense within a year of program graduation.
127 Moreover, the average reconviction rate among
2,135 drug court clients was 29% lower over three years than
the rate for non-drug court participants.
Drug courts allow criminals to avoid a criminal record, therefore incentivizing participants to remain in the
program. Marlowe writes,
Copyright (c) 2002 Villanova University Villanova Law Review
, 2002, 47 Vill. L. Rev. 989, 13977
words, SYMPOSIUM: NEW VOICES ON THE WAR ON DRUGS: EFFECTIVE STRATEGIES FOR
INTERVENING WITH DRUG ABUSING OFFENDERS, Douglas B. Marlowe* [MP/rwd)
Drug courts provide offenders with a tangible opportunity to avoid a criminal record or a sentence of
contingent upon completion of a prescribed regimen of substance abuse treatment, case
management, urinalyses and judicial status hearings. Similarly, TC programs provide inmates with an
opportunity for early parole contingent upon completion of in-prison and work release treatment
components. This provides substantial incentives to offenders to satisfy the monitoring conditions of these
programs and to receive adequate dosages of treatment.
Rather than simply punishing offenders for
engaging in drug [*1018] use, these programs meaningfully reward offenders for engaging in desired
behaviors such as completing treatment and demonstrating drug abstinence.