Drug Treatment Courts Judge Margaret P. Spencer Circuit Court of the City of Richmond, Virginia Virginia Drug Treatment Court Advisory Committee October 21, 2008
Drug Courts • What are Drug Courts? • Who are the Drug Court participants? • How do Drug Courts operate? • Where are Drug Courts in Virginia? • Why do we need Drug Courts? • Who supports Drug Courts? • What can you do?
What are drug courts? • Specialized court dockets • Within Virginia’s existing court system • Providing judicial monitoring of offenders in the Drug Court program • The program provides comprehensive substance abuse treatment, intensive supervision and ancillary services.
Who are the Drug Court participants? • Non-violent offenders with cases pending in Virginia’s courts • With substance abuse addictions or dependencies • In Circuit Court – the offenders have been charged with drug offenses or drug related offenses • Participation, which is voluntary, must be approved by the Commonwealth’s Attorney
How do Drug Courts operate? • First: who is involved in the operation of Drug Courts? • Drug Courts involve the collaborative efforts of the Commonwealth’s Attorney, defense attorney, Judge, Drug Court administrators, Drug Court case managers or probation officers, substance abuse clinicians, law enforcement officers, and – in J & DR Courts – social services employees.
How do Drug Courts operate? • Second: what are the goals of Drug Courts? • To reduce crime • To reduce substance abuse • To reduce drug-related court workloads • To increase personal, familial and societal accountability
HOW??? • By providing a full range of substantive abuse treatment services, • Including outpatient treatment and, if needed, resources for inpatient treatment • Including individual, family and group counseling • Including frequent and required drug testing • Including required participation in community recovery group meetings, such as NA, AA, or CA
HOW?? • By intensive supervision of participants • Including frequent meetings with a probation officer or case manager • Including required employment • Including required community service • Including ancillary services, such as mental health treatment, life skills training, or employment counseling • Including curfew checks and random home visitation by law enforcement officials
How? • With intensive judicial monitoring • The Drug Court judge is the leader of the Drug Court team. • The Drug Court team reviews the progress of each participant weekly. • Participants attend regular Court status hearings with the Drug Court team. • Judges impose sanctions for non-compliance and incentives for compliance
How? • Participants must comply with Drug Court requirements for a 12 – 18 month period • Successful participants graduate and in some Drug Courts, receive a reduced or dismissed charge upon graduation
Where are Drug Courts in Virginia? [See Attachment 1] • There are 27 Drug Court programs in Virginia: • 15 Adult – Circuit Courts • 8 Juvenile – J & DR Courts • 1 DUI – General District Court • 3 Family – J & DR Courts
Why do we need Drug Courts? • We cannot incarcerate ourselves out of the drug abuse problem in Virginia or in the United States. • Drug Courts are an effective alternative solution to the problems of drug abuse and drug related crime.
Why do we need Drug Courts? • Drug Courts reduce recidivism • Drug Courts are cost effective • AND • Drug Courts reduce substance abuse dependency and addiction, and save lives
Drug Courts Reduce Recidivism – National Statistics • Drug Courts reduce crime by an average of 8% to 26%, with most estimates from 9% to 14%. Well-functioning Drug Courts reduce crime rates by 35% and the effects last at least 3 years.
Statistics based on 5 meta-analyses of Drug Courts Meta-analysis – scientists statistically average the effects of a program over numerous research studies. The meta-analyses of Drug Courts involved at least 5 experimental studies, dozens of quasi-experimental studies, and dismantling studies. Drug Courts Reduce Recidivism
Drug Courts Reduce Recidivism • In addition to dismantling studies, there have been matching effects studies. • Few, if any, other criminal justice programs come close to this level of scrutiny. [Painting the Current Picture: A National Report Card on Drug Courts and Other Problem-Solving Court Programs in the United States, BJA, May 2008, Vol. II, No. 1]
Drug Courts Reduce Recidivism The most rigorous and conservative estimate of the effect of any program is derived from meta-analyses. The figures are averages, and include programs that were poorly implemented, targeted to the wrong people, or had only recently opened their doors.
Drug Courts Reduce Recidivism – other studies 4 Adult Drug Courts in Massachusetts – Drug Court participants were 13% less likely to be re-arrested, 34% less likely to be re-convicted, and 24% less likely to be re-incarcerated than probationers who had been carefully matched to the Drug Court participants using sophisticated “propensity score” analyses [Rhodes, Kling, & Shively, 2006].
Drug Courts Reduce Recidivism – other studies 9 Adult Drug Courts in California – re-arrest rates over a 4 year period were 29% for Drug Court participants and 17% for Drug Court graduates, compared to 41% for similar drug offenders who did not participate in Drug Court. [Carey, Finigan, Crumpton & Waller, 2006]
Drug Courts Reduce Recidivism – other studies • ABA Summer 2004 study of 6 NY Drug Courts (Bronx, Brooklyn, Queens, Suffolk County, Syracuse and Rochester) • The 6 Drug Courts reduced the reconviction rate by an average of 29% over 3 years after the initial arrest. • Over one year post-program, the reconviction rate was 71% less for graduates compared with nonparticipants across the 6 courts.
Drug Courts Reduce Recidivism – other studies 2001 Columbia University’s Nat’l Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse: Study based on a review of 37 evaluations (updated 2000 study, 48 other evaluations)– average recidivism rate for those who completed Drug Court is between 4% and 29%, compared to 48% for those who did not participate in a Drug Court program.
Drug Courts Reduce Recidivism – other studies Recent long-term evaluation of a Portland, Oregon Drug Court found that crime was reduced by 30% over 5 years, and effects on crime were still detectable 14 years from the time of arrest [Finigan, Carey & Cox, 2007]
Drug Courts are Cost Effective Incarceration of drug using offenders costs between $20,000 and $50,000 per person, per year. The capital costs of building a prison cell can be as high as $80,000. A comprehensive Drug Court system typically costs between $2,500 and $4,000 annually for each offender. NADCP, The Facts on Drug Courts [available at www.nadcp.org].
Drug Courts are Cost Effective Results of several large-scale, rigorous cost analyses of Adult Drug Court programs: For every $1 invested in Adult Drug Courts, communities reaped approximately $2 to $4 in benefits, totaling roughly $3,000 to $12,000 per participant. [Dr. Douglas B. Marlow, J.D., Ph.D. Chief of Research, Law and Policy, NADCP]
Cost Analyses – other studies Washington, DC – 1 year of Drug Court costs $1,800 to $4,400 per participant. This cost compares to at least $20,000 per year to jail an offender. [Notre Dame Law Review, “Therapeutic Jurisprudence and the Drug Treatment Court Movement” Vol. 72, Issue 2, Jan. 1999].
Drug Courts - $2,500 - $6,000 per offender per year Includes costs of inpatient treatment Jail - $21,152 per inmate per year  Dept. of Corrections: prison - $22,831 per inmate per year  Operating costs If other costs, including prison building and maintenance, ed/counseling, and supervision are included, the costs could increase to $39,686 per year Va.’s Drug Courts are Cost Effective
Virginia – JLARC Study - 2008 • In June 2008, JLARC [Joint Legislative Audit and Review Commission] completed its study with the release of House Document No. 19 – Mitigating the Costs of Substance Abuse in Virginia. • Substance use disorder treatment programming appears to “ . . . frequently reduce costs to the State and localities as well as improve public safety and economic benefits . . .”
Virginia – JLARC: Drug Courts • Study included analysis of a variety of substance use disorder treatment programs in Virginia • Study concluded “Drug court completers experienced significantly better outcomes in the criminal justice system after treatment ended . . .” than three other comparison groups. • JLARC Report, page 71, Table 19
JLARC Study: Table 19 • Completing Richmond and Chesterfield Adult Drug Court programs resulted in lower costs and better recidivism and employment outcomes relative to comparison groups • See Attachment 2
Drug Court completers % Arrested – 14% % Convicted – 14% % Incarcerated – 21% Non-Drug Court completers % Arrested – 38% % Convicted – 22% % Incarcerated – 81% Probation Completers % Arrested - 14% % Convicted – 4% % Incarcerated - 46% Jail Completers % Arrested – 36% % Convicted – 25% % Incarcerated – 46% Recidivism After Treatment – JLARC Study
Drug Court Completers % Employed – 79% Average earnings - $42,629 Non-Drug Court Completers % Employed – 72% Average Earnings - $10,314 Probation Completers % Employed – 32% Average Earnings - $17,472 Jail Completers % Employed – 7% Average Earnings - $19, 353 Employment after Treatment – JLARC Study
Drug Courts reduce substance abuse • In February 2005, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) issued a report confirming that Drug Courts are an effective tool in reducing substance abuse and related crime.
Drug Courts reduce substance abuse and save lives. • Over 70% of all drug-using offenders who entered Drug Court programs either successfully completed or are current participants. • The longer an addicted person stays in treatment, the better the outcome. • Extensive research confirms that treatment is the most cost effective way to combat drug abuse and non-violent drug-related crime. • General Accounting Office, 1997
Save lives? Drug addicted babies? • During 2005, 844 drug free babies were born to active female Drug Court participants. • The additional medical costs associated with the delivery of a drug-addicted baby are estimated to range from approximately $1,500 to $25,000 per day. • [Columbia University, National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse. Research on Drug Courts: A Critical Review, 2001].
Drug Courts – A Better Alternative • “For a decade, the research on Drug Courts, spanning more than 100 program evaluations and at least five scientifically rigorous meta-analyses, has yielded definitive proof that Drug Courts significantly reduce crime and substance abuse, and produce greater cost-benefits than any other justice strategy.” [Urban Institute Report, from NADCP CEO West Huddleston, May 21, 2008].
Drug Courts – A Better Alternative • “We know that drug courts outperform virtually all other strategies that have been attempted for drug-involved offenders.” [Marlow, Dematteo, & Festinger, 2003. From National Drug Court Institute, Office of National Drug Control Policy, BJA. www.ndci.org/courtfacts.htm]
What can you do to help Drug Courts? • Learn more about Drug Courts • Attend a Drug Court graduation ceremony • Become a Drug Court supporter and advocate with policy makers in your locality
A Drug Court graduate tells his story of addiction and recovery. . .
What can you do to help Drug Courts? • Join the Drug Court supporters in the • Executive Branch of Government • President George W. Bush • Former President William J. Clinton • Both 2008 Presidential Platforms • Legislative Branch of Government • Judicial Branch of Government
President Bush • “Drug Courts are an effective and cost efficient way to help non-violent drug offenders commit to a rigorous drug treatment program in lieu of prison.” • President George W. Bush
President Bush • “By leveraging the coercive power of the criminal justice system, drug courts can alter the behavior of non-violent, low-level drug offenders through a combination of judicial supervision, case management, mandatory drug testing, and treatment to ensure abstinence from drugs, and escalating sanctions.” • President Bush, Blueprint for New Beginnings, February 28, 2001.
Former President Clinton • “Three quarters of the growth in the number of federal prison inmates is due to drug crimes. Building new prisons will go only so far. Drug Courts and mandatory testing and treatment are effective. I have seen drug courts work. I know they . . . make a difference.” • Former President William J. Clinton
And the 2008 Democratic and Republican Platforms • Both Presidential party platforms specifically name AND endorse Drug Courts
2008 Republican Platform • “. . . we support strengthening drug education and prevention programs to avoid addiction” • Part of this effort involves “endorsing state and local initiatives, such as Drug Courts that use innovative techniques to treat addiction.”