Monday, July 18, 2011

New Drug Court Study and More


Apologies for the lack of recent blog activity -- the last couple of weeks have seen me out of the office on vacation and visiting my brother and his wife, who just had twin girls (that's me, and my wife, holding the babies above).

I keep waiting for things to slow down around here for the summer but it hasn't really happened as yet. This week, to coincide with the national drug court conference, we are partnering with the Urban Institute and RTI International to release a major new study on drug courts. This is one of the more significant pieces of work that our research department has undertaken: a five-year project that looked at 23 drug courts across the country. The findings underline what we have suspected for some time: that drug courts reduce substance abuse and criminal behavior and save the system money to boot. The most interesting thing about the study, from my perspective, is that it underlines the importance of procedural justice and the role of the judge: defendants who felt like they were treated fairly and with respect had better outcomes.

Speaking of drug court, we have sent a decent-sized contingent to the national drug court conference in Washington DC -- if you happen to be at the conference, please look for our table. Also on the subject of fighting addiction, I was pleased to see community courts highlighted once again in the White House's latest drug control strategy.