The Urban Institute, the Center for Court Innovation, and RTI International were selected by the National Institute of Justice to conduct the Multi-Site Adult Drug Court Evaluation, one of the most ambitious evaluations of drug courts ever performed.
Click here for an overview and summary of the major findings of the six-year longitudinal, impact, and cost evaluation that includes 23 drug courts and six comparison sites in eight states: Florida, Georgia, Illinois, New York, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, South Carolina and Washington. Click here to download any of the final study reports or to download a powerpoint that includes many of the major findings.
The process evaluation entails a review of program operations, structured interviews and focus groups with key stakeholders, and court observations. The impact evaluation uses three waves of surveys, urinalysis testing, and administrative records to test a series of theoretically-grounded hypotheses on 1,156 drug court and 625 comparison group offenders. The study's main objectives were to:
- Test whether drug courts reduce drug use, crime, and multiple other problems associated with drug abuse.
- Address how drug courts work and for whom by isolating key individual and program factors that make drug courts more or less effective in achieving their desired outcomes.
- Explain how offender attitudes and behaviors change when they are exposed to drug courts and how these changes help explain the effectiveness of drug court programs.
- Examine whether drug courts generate cost savings.