A new study supports what judges throughout the country have believed for years: non-violent drug offenders benefit from judge-supervised treatment programs. The study of New York’s drug-court system, conducted by an independent research arm of the New York State court system, found that offenders assigned to drug courts are less likely to commit future crimes compared to those in prison. The study by the Center for Court Innovation examined six jurisdictions, including three in New York City. The research shows that over three years, the re-arrest rate for individuals who received court-monitored treatment was 29 percent lower than that of drug offenders who chose prison time without treatment.
“These are very positive findings, I think, getting to the answer of whether drug courts work in reducing recidivism,” said Deborah J. Daniels, an assistant United States attorney general in charge of the Justice Department’s grant-making arm. “It shows that drug courts continue to be a very promising way of dealing with a first-offender or nearly first-offender population.”
Source:New York Times Nov. 2003