• Article

Measuring recidivism in a juvenile drug court Systematic outcome study of a juvenile drug court using historical information

A number of unpublished technical reports claim that drug courts have been more successful than other forms of community supervision in closely supervising drug offenders in the community through frequent monitoring and close supervision, including mandatory frequent drug testing, placing and retaining drug offenders in treatment programs, providing treatment and related services to offenders who have not received such services in the past, generating actual and potential cost savings, and substantially reducing drug use and recidivism while offenders are in the program (Belenko, 1998). This paper presents research done as part of an outcome evaluation of the Eleventh Judicial District Juvenile Drug Court in Farmington, NM, completed in mid-2004. Since many juvenile drug court participants exit the program near their eighteenth birthday, the research design includes an innovative approach to address questions of participant recidivism by tracking both new referrals to juvenile probation and new arrests as an adult. Using a meticulously matched historical comparison group, the results establish a statistically significant lower overall recidivism rate for drug court participants


Pitts, W. (2006). Measuring recidivism in a juvenile drug court: Systematic outcome study of a juvenile drug court using historical information. Southwest Journal of Criminal Justice, 3(1), 17-34.