Transcript Slide 1

The Adult Drug Courts of New
Hampshire, Vermont, and Maine: An
Analysis of Effectiveness and Barriers to
Prepared by:
Jaya Batra ‘13
Austin Goldberg ’13
Adam Nasser ‘15
Portia Schultz ‘15
The Drug Court Model
The Drug Court Model:
-History of drug use
-BJA’s 10 Criteria
-Nonviolent crime
-12 to 18 months
-Must plead guilty
-Random AOD testing
-Resident of the county
-Upon completion: no
prison, felony
-Must have
-The drug court team
Social Benefits
Drug Courts Nationally
• 1970s and 80s: increased drug use  overcrowded prisons
• 2,600+ in the U.S.
• GAO Study on Recidivism
- Participants: 6-26% lower
- Graduates: 12-58% lower
• Annual incarceration cost: $20,000-$50,000 per inmate
• Annual drug court cost: $9,000-$12,000 per participant
Criteria for Evaluation
1. Recidivism Rates
2. Cost-Effectiveness
3. Impact Across Gender, Race, and Age
4. Social Consequences
New Hampshire
Has a drug court
Developing a drug
New Hampshire: Strafford
• Operationalized in 2006 with DOJ start-up grant
• Key Statistics
-54% graduation rate with 100 graduates
-10% have recidivated (new felony/misdemeanor)
-Corrections vs. Drug Courts: $84/day vs. $9/day
• Implemented female-only treatment groups
New Hampshire: Grafton
• Operationalized in 2007 with $20,000 DOJ start-up grant
• Promising outcomes for 27 graduates:
-Recidivism: 9-10% vs. 67% for traditionally incarcerated
-Per person costs of $2,500 vs. $9,000-$12,000 nationally
Has a drug court
• Recidivism:
-36-40% for
-14% for graduates
• Cost:
-$85 per day cheaper
than jail
• Graduation:
-624 enrolled, 482
graduated (77%)
• Recidivism:
-60% for participants
-22% for graduates
• Cost:
-$3 return on each dollar
• Graduation:
-36% graduation rate
Currently, 5 counties with drug courts
-1,435 participants as of 2012
Recidivism: 17% drug courts v. 33%
traditionally incarcerated (ME study)
Cost: $3.30 saved for $1 spent
Additional Benefits
-60 drug free-births since 2001
-$750,000-1,400,000 lifetime savings
Policy Research Shop
Cost-Benefit Analysis
Projected Drug Court Cost-Savings Over 5 Years as a Function
of the Annual Number of New Participants
100 new participants
50 new participants
25 new participants
Year 1
Year 2
Year 3
Year 4
Year 5
* Model uses data from Rutland County to extrapolate savings for 50
and 100 new participants
Policy Research Shop
Key Takeaways
• Drug courts seem to be an effective alternative to
incarceration in NH, ME, and VT
– Reduced recidivism, except Penobscot County, ME
– Long-term cost savings
• Common demographic characteristics
– Lower graduation rates for female and young participants
• BJA grants serve as a primary source of funding
Policy Research Shop
Keys to Success
Clear criteria for termination
Treatment activities as sanctions
Ongoing judicial interaction
Targeted programs for female clients
Expeditious referral time
Separate participants by level of risk
Policy Research Shop
The Future of Drug Courts
Deterrent: Cost & Infrastructure
National Drug Court Institute cites cost as primary
obstacle to drug court expansion
Large, upfront grant required to initiate program
Court cost usually absorbed by county budget
Policy Research Shop
The Future of Drug Courts
Deterrent: Perception & Ideology
•Are Drug Courts “soft” on crime?
•Additional treatment vs. incarceration
Policy Research Shop
• Drug courts as an effective alternative to incarceration in
NH, ME, and VT:
– Reduce recidivism
– Promote recovery
– Create cost-savings
• Analysis limited by small sample sizes
• Policy Options:
– Greater financial support
– Tailor programs to key demographics
– Adoption of best-practices