Date of Award
Purpose: Drug courts are reform programs that are utilized in America to reduce the amount of incarcerations due to non violent drug charges. A successful drug court has a high number of graduates and low recidivism rates. To accomplish this, a variety of methods are utilized such as medication assisted therapy (MAT), random and mandatory drug testing, positive reinforcement in the form of words or tangible items, etc. The purpose of our study was to identify the best practices of drug courts, as defined as increased graduation rates and decreased recidivism, so that the findings may be applied in the future towards improving success rates.
Methods: A scoping review was conducted to evaluate the best practices for success in drug courts. A literature search was conducted to find articles that outlined best practices. The measures of success utilized were improved graduation rates and reduced recidivism rates. Data was extracted from the previous research, summarized, and presented in this scoping review.
Results: The practice that was found to be the most effective, as mentioned by the greatest amount of articles, in improving graduation rates and decreasing recidivism was education and employment status, defined as increasing literacy rate, obtaining high school diploma, GED, or associate's degree or as receiving a part or full time job, as a best practice.1–7
Conclusion: While all of the practices mentioned are important factors of drug courts, the most influential for increasing graduation rates and decreasing graduation rates are education and employment status,1–7 individual and group counseling and therapy,3,5,7–10 medication assisted therapy (MAT),3,5,8–10,21 and increased supervision and contact with the judge or court.2,11–14
Crumrine, Elise and Culp, Blakely Camille, "Scoping Review of the Best Practices in Drug Courts in the United States" (2023). Honors Theses. 2897.
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