Chemical Dependency Treatment Leads to Reduction of Crime

The Washington State Department of Social and Health Services (DSHS), with participation from the Research and Data Analysis Division (RDA), has published Drug Court Outcomes, a study examining a set of analyses for the Division of Behavioral Health and Recovery (DBHR) about the experiences of individuals who received chemical dependency (CD) treatment. This project is chiefly funded by the Criminal Justice Treatment Account (CJTA), which offers treatment for offenders involved with substance abuse that could escalate to addiction. The report focuses on the treatment participation outcomes of 1,671 adults charged with a felony who were eligible for treatment and subsequently admitted to formally established drug courts. Three-year outcomes of these individuals are analyzed in comparison to a group of 1,671 adults similarly charged with a felony but who were not admitted to a drug court.

Results of this study reveal that in a three-year follow-up period, drug court participants were less likely to be arrested or incarcerated than individuals in the comparison group. Drug participants also obtained a nearly universal participation in CD treatment. Participants were also more likely to enter and remain in CD treatment. The reductions of crime analyzed in this study provide taxpayers with a net benefit of $22,000. It becomes evident through this report that CD treatment is not only beneficial to recipients, resulting in a reduction of crime rates, but financially to society as well.

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