GAO Validates Drug Court Effectiveness
The National Association of Drug Court Professionals is proud to announce that the United States Government Accountability Office (GAO) released its fourth report on Drug Courts last week, concluding once again that Drug Courts reduce recidivism and save money. The report, ADULT DRUG COURTS: Studies Show Courts Reduce Recidivism, but DOJ Could Enhance Future Performance Measure Revision Efforts, validated existing Drug Court research by examining over 30 scientifically rigorous studies involving more than 50 Drug Courts throughout the country. The GAO was established to support Congress in meeting its constitutional responsibilities and to help improve the performance and ensure the accountability of the federal government. The scope of this report was mandated by the Fair Sentencing Act of 2010.
Of the 32 Drug Court programs reviewed, 31 showed reductions in recidivism. Of those that performed statistical comparisons, the large majority (72%) reported statistically significant reductions in crime for the Drug Court participants. This conclusion is very much in line with those of several scientific meta-analyses, which all found that 75% to 80% of Drug Courts significantly reduced crime. In the GAO analysis, Drug Court participants were found to have up to a 26 percent lower rate of recidivism than comparison groups. Re-arrest rates for Drug Court graduates were found to be up to 58 percent below comparison groups.