Table of Contents
Journal of Criminology
Volume 2013, Article ID 571760, 12 pages
Research Article

Drug Courts and Community Crime Rates: A Nationwide Analysis of Jurisdiction-Level Outcomes

University of Michigan-Dearborn, Department of Behavioral Sciences, 4901 Evergreen Road, Dearborn, MI 48128, USA

Received 29 March 2013; Accepted 31 May 2013

Academic Editor: Todd I. Herrenkohl

Copyright © 2013 David R. Lilley. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Although a substantial number of studies have reported that drug courts reduced the recidivism of graduates (Wilson et al., 2006), a series of recent analyses suggested that drug courts and similar programs were associated with unintended crime outcomes in cities and counties across the nation (Lilley and Boba, 2008; Miethe et al., 2000; Peters et al., 2002; Worrall et al., 2009). Given that over 220,000 offenders participated in this alternative to incarceration and most did not successfully complete the drug court program, jurisdictional crime may have been impacted. A series of panel data analyses were conducted among more than 5,000 jurisdictions nationwide from 1995 to 2002 to assess the impact of drug court implementation grants on UCR Part I felony offenses. Consistent with prior findings, drug court implementation grants were associated with net increases in vehicle theft, burglary, larceny, and some violent offenses. Possible explanations for these unintended outcomes are discussed along with recommendations for adjustments to current drug court programs across the nation.