Predicting Termination from Drug Court and Comparing Recidivism Patterns: Treating Substance Use Disorders in Criminal Justice Settings

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Title

Alcoholism Treatment Quarterly

Publication Date


Date Added



Drug courts have been used in the criminal justice system to treat substance use disorders since 1989. This study evaluates a drug court in Indiana, focusing specifically on the most predictive variables for being terminated from the program and comparing recidivism patterns of drug court and probation participants. Participants were most likely to be terminated from drug court if they did not have a high school diploma or equivalent at admission, were not employed or a student at admission, identified cocaine as a drug of choice, had more positive drug tests, had a violation within the first 30 days of the program, and had a criminal history. Additional findings suggest that drug court is more effective than probation at reducing criminal recidivism rates for offenders with substance use disorders. Implications for drug court practice and future research are discussed.




Social Work

Comments/Extra Notes

Additional authors: Carlton, Jesse; Miller, Jane Woodward