Case Study: The First Family Drug Courts Essay

Families are also affected by drug abuse. Sixty to eighty percent of child abuse and neglect cases involve substance abuse by a parent or guardian (Malroew, 2012) The first family drug court was stated back in 1995 in Reno, Nevada and since then there are only about 300 operating family drug courts in the United States. The average cost of foster care for one child in the state of Oregon it costs about seventy two dollars and eighty nine cents per day. In one year that is about twenty six thousand and six hundred dollars.

If there is a family of four that is struggling with substance abuse and their children get placed in foster care that is about fifty three thousand two hundred dollars that the state and federal government shell out on children in foster care from families that are struggling with substance abuse (Malroew, 2012). Chapter Four: Research Question There is no question that there are problems with today’s society from murders to drug addicts but what is society today doing to fix these issues that is what I am trying to find out.

Question #1 The research question that I wish to pose is: Do Drug Courts help decrease recidivism in adults, families, and juveniles? There are several studies that have shown this has been proven: Bartell and Winfree, Jr. (1977) analyzed the reconviction rates of 100 offenders convicted of burglary in 1971 in New Mexico. Of the 100 offenders, 34 were imprisoned, 45 were granted probation, and 21 were given other sentences (fines, drug and alcohol treatment, community services, etc. ).

After statistically controlling for differences in age, prior criminal history, and type of burglary, the findings indicated that offenders who were placed on probation were less likely to be reconvicted than those who were incarcerated (Song, 1993 p. 4). Back in 1977 this was proven that not placing adults in prison decreases recidivism. This is only a small about of cases studied however, the numbers speak for themselves. This tie into my research problem statement in the fact of searching if there are more drug courts in the United States does this decrease recidivism?

The National Institute of Justice did a study in 1993 that shows “They found the Drug Court Defendants had: fewer cases were dropped, lower incarceration rates, less frequent rearrests and longer times to rearrests” (Russell, 1993 p. 1). Juvenile drug courts are more intensive then regular juvenile courts. There are several things that are close however like the adult courts they are more intensive meetings with their probation officer and have court once a week to update everyone in the care plan as how they are doing on their program. Family drug courts are doing similar things.

Chapter Five: Methods Drug Courts: The Next Step or a Miss Step The statement of the problem is, are drug courts assisting in recidivism of juvenile, adults and families? “The proliferation of drug courts and problem-solving courts is due in large part to reduced recidivism rates and net costs to the government… ” (Fisher, 2014 p. 753). This research project addresses some of the important tools that can be used to conduct research on if drug courts are assisting in recidivism. “There are two notable themes that emerged from the previous drug court research, which did not use comparison groups.

There was an inverse relationship between the variables of substance abuse treatment, graduation from drug court, and recidivism. As participation in substance abuse treatment and graduation from drug court increased, the likelihood of recidivating decreased” (Gallagher 2014, p. 16). To figure out a better understanding of drug courts in all areas interviews and strategies will be the best way. In order to get an understanding on how the Drug Courts work, interview a Probation officer for DWI court in the fifth circuit of South Dakota in Brown County.

Interviewing him will assist with figuring out how the DWI court runs in turn figuring out how the Drug Court will run. These courts are run in the same manor: one is set up for alcoholics and one drug offenders. “While Canadian DTCs vary in their policies and treatment practices, the goal of DTCs is to stop drug dependent individuals from using drugs, thereby reducing recidivism and increasing public safety. Consequently, participants are to become, and remain, abstinent from drugs and alcohol and re-establish themselves as productive, noncrime committing citizens” (Lyons 2013, p. 16).

Before interviewing anyone, there needs to be a standard for all interviews so they are conducted in a proper manor. Write down important questions that will be asked to each of the interviewees. Check and set up office space where interviews can be conducted. Send out reminders for each of the interviews in order to remind them of the appointment. Set up recording devices with the permission of the interviewees to make sure all statements are recorded properly. Provide professional interviews to make sure everyone’s thoughts are addressed.

Make sure everyone that is interviewed is able to withdraw from the program at any time and their information will not be included in the study. Place all interview information including recordings in a fireproof safe so that the information obtained in the interviews are kept confidential and no one has access to them. The next strategy that would be used is surveys. The local college here in Aberdeen has a methods professor that does many different types of projects with her methods class. Having asked her for assistance on this project was one of the first things that came to mind when looking at things to collect data.

The class will work closely with different states to collect information from the United States. The first thing that needs to be done is that the class needs to choose what states that they are going to collect information from. The first state that would be suggested is Florida as that was the first state that had drug courts established in Dade County (Scharf 2010) tells us. Information like this could be used in Deitchler’s (2011) model article that shows that more information needs to be collected in order to have proper information on drug courts to see if they are working to decrease recidivism or not.

The one thing that everyone uses is that there are many different things that can be used but one of the main things that is readily available for everyone to use is online academic sources. Google Academic as well as Walden Library has an over abundant amount of information that can be used for papers. Walden Library has data bases that are free to use for all Walden Students. These data bases have academic articles that can be used for credible information so one does not have to search google for academic resources that have to be paid for or question if they are really able to be used for.

Chapter Six: Literature Review Literature states that Drug Courts were formed partly because of overcrowding in jails and prisons (Tiger, 2011). Drug courts were put into place to seek the underlying cause of drug addiction which many believe can also relate to drug related crimes. The first Drug Courts started in Dade County, Florida. Since 1989 Drug Courts have expanded to every state and there ae more than 2,100 working drug courts in the United States (Tiger, 2011 p. 172). The structure of all courts is different but there are three main common features in each court.

The first being “Legal and external pressure” this means it is a judges duty to mandate or sentence a person to drug courts. Second there is a second judge that sits on the Drug Court committee that reviews progress each week and a probation officer that does random drug testing every week. Drug testing is a key factor so that there is an accountability factor on every member of Drug Court in order to stay clean. The third factor that all courts have in common is there is a verity of sanctions and privileges given to members of the courts. Sanctions for embers that have broken the rules and privileges for those that have been doing good and continue on the right path and stay clean (Tiger 2011).

Literature also shares that it is sometimes difficult to study the effects of drug courts because it takes some coercion. In order to be accepted into a drug court the candidates must apply and have an interview with the intake probation officer before being accepted into a drug court program. Many offenders decider to make use of drug courts because it is an alternative to the traditional criminal justice ystem which could include jail or prison time. Some courts use the threat of legal sanctions as a sanction in order to make participants perform better in the program. Many candidates that were coerced into the drug court program may not feel that they are in need of Drug treatment so the legal sanctions work for them (Maeder 2008).

According to the United States General Accountability Office in 2005, drug court evaluations have a number of limitations. This may explain some of the discrepancies in findings when it concerns Drug Court success esults. Many of the studies do not follow graduates of drug court programs past eighteen months of graduation out of the program. Also, many of the studies only cover the rearrest rates of graduated members and do not look at if the graduate has stayed clean the studies only show the arrests of relapsed offenders or those offenders that have been caught. The main reason for this is because finding and obtaining a randomized control group is hard to do in the environment in which drug courts operate (Wolfer 2008).