Honors Theses

Date of Award

Spring 5-4-2022

Document Type

Undergraduate Thesis

Department

Economics

First Advisor

John Conlon

Second Advisor

John Gardner

Third Advisor

Mark Van Boening

Relational Format

Dissertation/Thesis

Abstract

This paper serves as an evaluation of Mississippi Intervention Courts and attempts to determine the effectiveness and use of those courts. The regressions in this paper attempt to show how the use of intervention courts and demographic characteristics of Mississippi District Circuit Courts affect the number of drug-related arrests in Mississippi, how the number of drug-related arrests and demographic characteristics of Mississippi district circuit courts areas affects intervention court use and intervention court participation rates in Mississippi, and how demographic characteristics affected the delay in the adoption of intervention courts by Mississippi District Circuit Courts. Demographic characteristic variables used include education, income, racial composition, and urbanization. Regression analyses including ordinary least squares regressions, lagged-dependent variable regressions, and fixed-effects models are used in this paper to determine these effects. Many of the coefficients on the variables in these regressions are statistically insignificant. However, the regression of intervention court use on drug-related arrests per capita and demographic characteristics does conclude that an increase in the number of drug-related arrests per capita decreases the use of intervention courts in Mississippi by a substantial amount. The results from these regressions, along with input from Judge Starrett, the founder of the first intervention court in Mississippi, are used to justify a recommendation to Mississippi legislators to increase intervention court use in times of rising drug-related arrests.

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