A Cost Evaluation of Two Michigan Drug Courts

Status: complete

The State Court Administrative Office of the Michigan Supreme Court contracted with NPC Research to conduct an outcome evaluation and cost-benefit evaluation of the two drug court programs in the 6th Circuit Court—the Oakland County Adult Drug Treatment Court (ATC) and the Oakland County Family-Focused Juvenile Drug Treatment Court (Options – The Power to Choose). NPC Research had previously completed two cost-benefit evaluations of adult drug courts in Michigan (in Kalamazoo and Barry counties).

The drug court participants were examined in terms of outcomes such as reductions in drug use and graduation rate. The impacts of the program on recidivism (e.g., re-arrests, time on probation and time in jail) were assessed by comparing the drug court participants with a comparison group of offenders who were eligible for the program but did not attend using statewide and local criminal justice, substance abuse treatment, and probation data.

NPC Research uses a cost approach called Transactional and Institutional Cost Analysis (TICA). The evaluation documented program and traditional court activities for the drug court and comparison group to determine the direct and indirect costs of each activity. This information informed the relative costs and benefits to the taxpayers for individuals going through drug treatment court vs. traditional court processing (“business as usual”).

Project Team

Principal Investigator

Shannon Carey, Ph.D.

Cost Analyst

Mark Waller, B.A.

Data Collection Specialist

Kate Kissick, B.A.