Research into the effects of drug courts on recidivism has generally demonstrated positive results. These results have led to the expansion of the drug court model which focuses on causes or problems for specific populations, such as drunk drivers, mental health/dual diagnosis individuals, veterans, and others. While research has examined various adaptations to the drug court model, very few examinations have evaluated adaptations of the drug court model on female offenders. Characteristics of female offenders and their drug use have led some scholars to suggest that drug courts would be an appropriate intervention for this population. While past research has examined the role of gender in drug courts, this research occurs using samples from coed courts. The current study expands and adds to the literature on drug courts by evaluating a drug court designed just for female offenders. Female drug court participants are matched to a sample of probationers on multiple variables. Results indicate that a drug court for female offenders significantly lowers recidivism. Furthermore, the research examines and highlights the practical and methodological importance of measuring risk and examining treatment completion.

Andrew J. Myer & Maria M. Buchholz
Journal of Crime and Justice, Volume 41, 2018 – Issue 2