Specialty courts, especially drug courts, have been the subject of intense research and debate. The National Association of Drug Court Professionals cites the following facts on their website:
Drug Courts Reduce Crime
- FACT: Nationwide, 75% of Drug Court graduates remain arrest-free at least two years after leaving the program.
- FACT: Rigorous studies examining long-term outcomes of individual drug courts have found that reductions in crime last at least three years and can endure for over 14 years.
- FACT: The most rigorous and conservative scientific “meta-analyses” have all concluded that Drug Courts significantly reduce crime as much as 45 percent more than other sentencing options.
Drug Courts Save Money
- FACT: Nationwide, for every $1.00 invested in Drug Court, taxpayers save as much as $3.36 in avoided criminal justice costs alone.
- FACT: When considering other cost offsets such as savings from reduced victimization and healthcare service utilization, studies have shown benefits range up to $27 for every $1 invested.
- FACT: Drug courts produce cost savings ranging from $3,000 to $13,000 per client. These cost savings reflect reduced prison costs, reduced revolving-door arrests and trials, and reduced victimization.
Drug Courts Ensure Compliance
- FACT: Unless substance abusing/addicted offenders are regularly supervised by a judge and held accountable, 70% drop out of treatment prematurely.
- FACT: Drug courts provide more comprehensive and closer supervision than other community-based supervision programs.
- FACT: Drug courts are six times more likely to keep offenders in treatment long enough for them to get better.