This 3-year study evaluates 4 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 with underlying addiction. Following trends in other areas of the law (bankruptcy, family, mental health), states increasingly have implemented specialized courts for substance abuse related criminal cases. These courts combine standard deterrence with efforts to treat offenders underlying addictions. The proposed study seeks to evaluate the intergenerational impact of these specialty courts on crime, education and health. This study has 2 aims.
Aim 1 examines effects of drug and alcohol courts in NC on the probability of (l) repeating substance abuse related crimes for which the person was convicted (recidivism) (Subaim 1.1);(2) being convicted of domestic violence related crimes (Subaim 1.2);and (3) being convicted of other crimes to person and to property (Subaim 1.3).
Aim 2 measures the effects of adult participation in the DTC on the substance users'children. DTCs are theorized to improve youth outcomes by alleviating problems that affect youth's home environment.
Aim 2 has 3 parts.
Sub aim 2. 1 examines effects on time such children spend in foster care. The key hypothesis is that DTCs reduce the number and duration of spells in foster care.
Sub aim 2. 2 assesses whether these courts lead to improved educational outcomes among such children (e.g., improved test scores, retention in grade, lower absences).
Sub aim 2. 3 examines the effect of DTCs on the probability that the children of substance abusers commit crimes as juveniles or young adults. The study setting is North Carolina and as of 2010 had 38 treatment courts. The number of DTCs is up from 1 in 1995 and 10 in 2000. Secondary databases to be used in this analysis are NC state databases, including data from public schools, juvenile justice, social services, and convictions of both drug and non-drug related crimes. !!

Public Health Relevance

Following trends in other areas of the law (bankruptcy, family, mental health), states increasingly have implemented specialized courts for substance abuse related criminal cases. These courts combine standard deterrence with efforts to treat offenders underlying addictions. The proposed study seeks to evaluate the intergenerational impact of these specialty courts on crime and educational outcomes.

Agency
National Institute of Health (NIH)
Institute
National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA)
Type
Research Project (R01)
Project #
5R01DA032548-02
Application #
8424248
Study Section
Special Emphasis Panel (ZRG1-PSE-G (55))
Program Officer
Wiley, Tisha R A
Project Start
2012-02-15
Project End
2015-01-31
Budget Start
2013-02-01
Budget End
2014-01-31
Support Year
2
Fiscal Year
2013
Total Cost
$226,080
Indirect Cost
$82,080
Name
Duke University
Department
Miscellaneous
Type
Schools of Arts and Sciences
DUNS #
044387793
City
Durham
State
NC
Country
United States
Zip Code
27705
Gifford, Elizabeth J; Eldred, Lindsey M; McCutchan, Sabrina A et al. (2014) The effects of participation level on recidivism: a study of drug treatment courts using propensity score matching. Subst Abuse Treat Prev Policy 9:40
Gifford, Elizabeth Joanne; Eldred, Lindsey Morgan; Vernerey, Allison et al. (2014) How does family drug treatment court participation affect child welfare outcomes? Child Abuse Negl 38:1659-70