Effects of Drug Treatment Courts on Outcomes of Adults and Their Children

This three-year study set will evaluate four types of courts, general, driving while intoxicated (DWI), drug and hybrid drug. Drug treatment courts (DTC) represent a promising innovation for dealing with crimes committed by offenders who have an underlying addiction problem. Specialty courts combine standard deterrence efforts with treatment.

This study has two aims.

Aim 1 examines effects of drug and alcohol courts on the probability of (1) repeating substance abuse-related crimes for which the person was convicted (recidivism); (2) being convicted of domestic violence related crimes; and (3) being convicted of other crimes to person and to property.

Aim 2 examines whether drug treatment courts have an intergenerational effect by improving the outcomes for the youth whose parents are served.

Specifically this study:

  • examines whether drug treatment courts affect the length of time that youth spend in foster care;
  • assesses whether these courts lead to improved educational outcomes for foster children (e.g., improved test scores, retention in grade, lower absences);
  • examines the effect of DTCs on the probability that the children of substance abusers commit crimes as juveniles or young adults.