Beyond Crime and Drug Use: Do Adult Drug Courts Produce Other Psychosocial Benefits?

Mia Green,  Michael Rempel
Journal Title


An extensive body of research indicates that adult drug courts reduce reoffending, whereas a more limited number of studies point to reductions in drug use as well. However, barely any research examines whether these programs produce benefits in other areas, including socioeconomic well-being, family relationships, mental health, and homelessness. To fill this important gap, findings are presented from a quasi-experimental study of 1,156 drug court participants from 23 sites and 625 comparison offenders from 6 sites where drug courts are unavailable. Six-month follow-up interviews were conducted with 1,533 offenders (86%) and 18-month interviews with 1,474 (83%) offenders. Findings indicate that drug courts produced modest positive effects (though many were not statistically significant) across a range of socioeconomic outcomes. Findings also indicate that drug courts reduced family conflict. However, significant effects were not evident with respect to emotional or instrumental support from family members, mental health, or homelessness.

Lapham, S., & England-Kennedy, E. (2011). Convicted Driving-While-Impaired Offenders’ Views on Effectiveness of Sanctions and Treatment: Qualitative Health Research