Drug courts emerged in the 1990s to address serious drug offending while improving offender outcomes and reducing incarceration costs. Heavily researched, drug courts are proven to reduce recidivism and save money (Marlowe, 2010; Mitchell, Wilson, Eggers, & Mackenzie, 2012; Bhati, Roman, & Chalfin, 2008). Operating with fidelity to the National Association of Drug Court Professionals’ (NADCP) 10 key drug court components is imperative to ensuring optimal results and effectiveness (NADCP, 1997; NADCP, 2013; NADCP, 2015).
Illinois Criminal Justice Information Authority (Authority) researchers examined drug courts funded by Adult Redeploy Illinois (ARI) in five counties. Data to measure the 10 key components was collected after 18 months of program implementation (August 2012 to July 2013).ARI applies evidence-based, data-driven, and result-oriented strategies to curb prison overcrowding and enhance public safety. Since 2010, the Authority has administered grant funding for ARI and offered research, evaluation, and technical assistance to the program. In exchange for grant funding, jurisdictions agree to implement an evidence-based prison-diversion program, such as drug courts, and reduce by 25 percent the number of non-violent offenders sentenced to prison from a target population.
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