Department of Justice: The Benefits of Specialized Drug Courts

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A study conducted by the National Institute of Justice (NIJ) found that alternatives to handling drug cases, such as specialized courts that usher more people into rehab, can sharply drop recidivism rates, scale back on overall crime and produce deep cost cuts in an overwhelmed criminal justice system.


NIJ’s Multisite Adult Drug Court Evaluation found:

• Participants reported less criminal activity (40% vs. 53%) and had fewer rearrests (52% vs. 62%) than comparable offenders.
• Participants reported less drug use (56% vs. 76%) and were less likely to test positive (29% vs. 46%) than comparable offenders.
• Treatment investment costs were higher for participants, but with less recidivism, drug courts saved an average of $5,680 to $6,208 per offender overall.