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Innovative Justice: Federal Reentry Drug Courts─How Should We Measure Success?

Volume 82 Number 3
December 2018

In response to the drug abuse and addiction epidemic in the United States, innovative ways of dealing with non-violent drug offenders within the criminal justice system began to emerge in the late 1980s. The use of drug courts and other problem-solving courts is expanding in the states, but the federal courts have been slow to adopt the approach, and reports have voiced skepticism about their impact on recidivism and cost-effectiveness. The author uses a different lens to look at whether federal reentry courts work, surveying the perceptions and beliefs of participants and court program staff members about their perceived worth.