OPPAGA text logo with graphic of FL historic capitol
OPPAGA text logo with graphic of FL historic capitol

State's Drug Courts Could Expand to Target Prison-Bound Adult Offenders

Report 09-13, March 2009

Report Summary

Drug courts provide supervised community treatment designed to divert drug-addicted offenders from the criminal justice system. The two principal types of drug court programs for adult offenders are pre-trial diversion drug courts for first-time drug offenders, and post-adjudicatory drug courts for non-violent offenders who typically have prior convictions.

  • National research has shown that drug courts can reduce the future criminal activities of offenders.
  • Effective drug court programs can help reduce prison admissions and state costs.
  • Over a three-year follow-up period, offenders who successfully completed post-adjudicatory drug courts in Florida were 80% less likely to go to prison than the matched comparison group.
  • While drug court graduates have lower recidivism rates, only half of post-adjudicatory drug court participants complete the program, and many non-completers are sentenced to prison.

Two issues-program eligibility limitations and low completion rates-must be addressed if drug courts are expanded to reduce prison admissions.

Related Reports
  1. Expansion Drug Courts Can Produce Positive Outcomes Through Prison Diversion and Reduced Recidivism
    Report 14-02 January 2014
  2. Expansion Drug Courts Serving More Prison-Bound Offenders, but Will Not Fully Expend Federal Funds
    Report 11-21 November 2011
  3. Without Changes, Expansion Drug Courts Unlikely to Realize Expected Cost Savings
    Report 10-54 October 2010
  4. Judicial Case Management Practices Vary Throughout State; Better Case Data Needed
    Report 09-06 January 2009
Copies of this report in print or alternate accessible format may be obtained by email OPPAGA@oppaga.fl.gov, telephone (850) 488-0021, or mail 111 W. Madison St., Room 312 Tallahassee, FL 32399-1475.
Drug courts, prison diversion, post-adjudicatory, drug court outcomes