Drug Courts Pay Off

A St. Louis study finds that drug courts and addiction treatment are far more cost-effective than probation over the long run, Alcoholism & Drug Abuse Weekly reported March 8.

The study by the Institute of Applied Research focused on the city’s adult felony drug court. Researchers concluded that drug court costs about $1,449 per offender more up front than probation, but end up saving taxpayers $7,707 within four years of discharge.

“The drug-court client pays for his drug-court experience within about 3.5 years by avoiding costs [such as reinvolvement with the criminal-justice system] and paying taxes,” said Jeffrey N. Kushner, the city’s drug-court administrator.

The complete report is available on the Institute of Applied Research website.

Source: JTO online March 2004

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