New resources on drug courts and cost-efficiency analysis

by , March 31, 2014

The Adult Drug Court Research-to-Practice Initiative (R2P)—a project of the National Center for State Courts (NCSC) and the Justice Programs Office of the School of Public Affairs at American University—recently conducted the webinar “Drug Court Cost-Efficiency Analysis: Methods and Findings.”

The online panel discussion, moderated by Fred L. Cheesman II, principal court research consultant at NCSC, covers how to conduct drug court cost-efficiency analysis—including guidance on marginal costs, transactional costs, and monetizing drug-court outcomes—as well as what the current cost-effectiveness research tells us about adult drug courts.


It’s National Drug Court Month. Do you know where your costs and benefits are?

by , May 13, 2013

May is National Drug Court Month, and throughout the United States, events, public service campaigns, and other activities are under way, focusing on what drug courts are and what they do. This year’s theme is “Drug Courts: A Proven Budget Solution.”

If you’re looking for general resources about drug courts, the National Institute of Justice, the Bureau of Justice Assistance, and the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention recently revised their fact sheet.


What do cost-benefit studies tell us about drug courts?

by , September 30, 2011

Since beginning in Miami more than 20 years ago, drug courts have grown in number, with nearly 2,600 courts in operation today in the United States and its territories. Cost-benefit studies, including the Multisite Adult Drug Court Evaluation featured on our blog earlier this month, tell us that, on average, the benefits of drug courts outweigh the costs, but some participants generate far greater benefits than others.


Guest blog post: A reflection on the Multisite Adult Drug Court Evaluation

by , September 21, 2011

John Roman, PhD, is a senior fellow in the Justice Policy Center at the Urban Institute, where his research focuses on evaluations of innovative crime control policies and justice programs. Roman is a co-author of the Multisite Adult Drug Court Evaluation (MADCE), a study funded by the National Institute of Justice (NIJ) to examine the impact of adult drug courts and whether there are cost savings attributable to drug court programs.


Calculating drug court costs: An interview with Shannon Carey

by , September 14, 2011

Cost-benefit literature cites two ways of calculating program costs: top-down and bottom-up. Top-down approaches take the total cost of a program and divide by the number of program participants resulting in an average cost per participant. Bottom-up approaches take the price of each resource and multiply by the quantity of resources used, giving you an individual cost per participant.


Selected resources for conducting cost-benefit studies of drug courts

by , September 7, 2011

These selected resources point you to research on drug courts, and tell you what to consider when conducting a cost-benefit analysis (CBA) of a drug court program. They provide a helpful introduction whether you’re reading or planning a drug court CBA.

1.    Collecting information  

Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA). National Drug Court Training and Technical Assistance Program.


September focus: Drug courts

by , September 1, 2011

With the release of the Multi-Site Adult Drug Court Evaluation (MADCE) in June, we know more than ever about the costs and benefits of the more than 2,500 drug courts in operation in the United States today. Cost-benefit studies tell us that drug courts yield net benefits, but there are concerns about whether drug courts are an appropriate response to substance abuse.