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NADCP published a research update, by Douglas Marlowe, Ph.D, in December of 2010 on Adult Drug Courts, including summaries of research on effectiveness and fidelity.

Drug Court

The National Drug Court Resource Center has published multiple research reports, fact sheets, and publications available for review addressing a wide range of drug court research topics.

Drug Court

The MADCE is a NIJ funded longitudinal drug court evaluation study investigating 23 drugs courts across 6 different states.

Drug Court
  • The cost-effectiveness and economic utility of MHC’s have received relatively little empirical attention.
  • Estimating the cost-effectiveness of MHC’s faces several challenges, and there is no perfect formula to determine which outcomes should be included in a full economic analysis, making comparisons across studies difficult.  
Mental Health Court
  • Some research suggests that MHCs that accept felony offenders, as compared to those that accept misdemeanant offenders only, can decrease recidivism while still maintaining public safety. 
  • MHCs can focus on high-risk and high-need offenders with positive public safety outcomes, but treatment services in the community are critical to also address early mental health courts typically accepted offenders charged with non-violent misdemeanors.
Mental Health Court
  • Among the general community, those with mental illness are more likely to end up in the criminal justice system than people without a mental illness.
  • For the most part, persons with mental illness become involved in the criminal justice system for the same reasons that persons without major illness do.
  • Although mental illness may be relevant to violence risk, this linkage is often over-reported and its causal roles are complex and likely rooted in individual and situational cofactors.
  • Active substance use among individuals with MI has been associated with higher criminal recidivism (which may or may not include violent crimes) across multiple studies.
Mental Health Court
  • Most MHC’s serve offenders diagnosed with serious mental illnesses such as schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, or major depression.
  • Other common disorders typically seen in MHC’s include anxiety disorders, personality disorders, neurological impairment and/or intellectual disabilities.
  • Research studies also suggest that over half of MHC participants are considered dual-diagnosis with ongoing problems of alcohol and drug use in addition to their mental health concerns.
Mental Health Court
  • The research in this area is in its infancy, although a few studies suggest that MHC participants have fewer psychiatric hospitalization days as compared to matched control groups.
  • Some studies suggest that implementation of MHC’s may increase awareness and understanding of mental health issues across the court system, leading to improved psychiatric and psychosocial outcomes for all offenders.
  • The ability of MHC’s to improve important psychiatric outcomes may largely be a function of the range and quality of services available.
Mental Health Court