The Long Term Effectiveness of Drug Treatment Court on Reducing Recidivism and Predictors of Voluntary Withdrawal

Document Type


Publication Date

Summer 2016




While drug treatment courts (DTCs) in the United States have proliferated, there is a shortage of research on their long term effectiveness. The purpose of this study was to examine the long-term effectiveness of a DTC and predictors of withdrawal. Retrospective data were analyzed from adults offered admission into a Midwestern DTC. Those who graduated from the program (N=95), voluntarily withdrew (N=35), or voluntarily declined (N=16) entry were compared. Various measures of recidivism were gathered up to on average 3.5 years after graduation, withdrawal, or decline. Outcomes for graduates were superior to the other two groups on all measures of recidivism even after controlling for demographic and background variables. Younger age of first arrest and lesser maximum class of prior offense were found to predict a higher likelihood of withdrawal. Findings confirm previous research regarding the effectiveness of DTCs though further study regarding the predictors of withdrawal is warranted.


The definitive version of this article was published by Springer in International Journal of Mental Health and Addiction. The final publication is available at Springer via http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11469-016-9652-8.

This document is currently not available here.