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Office of Program Policy Analysis and Government Accountability

Without Changes, Expansion Drug Courts Unlikely to Realize Expected Cost Savings, Report No. 10-54, October 2010
 
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  • The 2009 Legislature appropriated $19 million in federal funds to establish eight post-adjudicatory drug courts. The drug courts were expected to divert offenders from prison and thereby reduce corrections costs by an estimated $95 million.
  • The drug courts are generally meeting standards for their operation. However, they are unlikely to generate the expected cost savings for several reasons. Initial admissions targets overestimated the potential population of offenders who would qualify for the programs and strict eligibility criteria limited admissions. Some programs also appear to be serving offenders who would be unlikely to be sentenced to prison in the absence of drug court.
  • The Legislature may wish to consider four options to address these problems. It could modify drug court criteria to serve more prison-bound offenders, include additional counties in the program, require the courts to serve predominantly prison-bound offenders, and/or shift federal funds to other prison diversion programs.

Which Government Program Summaries contain related information?

Supreme Court
Circuit Courts
State Courts System
State Attorneys
Community Corrections

What other OPPAGA-related materials are available?

  • Report No. 11-21 Expansion Drug Courts Serving More Prison-Bound Offenders, but Will Not Fully Expend Federal Funds,published in November 2011.
  • Report No. 10-39 Zero Tolerance Policy Rescinded and Alternatives Implemented to Address Technical Violations,published in April 2010.
  • Report No. 10-27 Intermediate Sanctions for Non-Violent Offenders Could Produce Savings,published in March 2010.
  • Report No. 10-08 Pretrial Release Programs’ Compliance With New Reporting Requirements Is Mixed,published in January 2010.
  • Report No. 09-13 State’s Drug Courts Could Expand to Target Prison-Bound Adult Offenders,published in March 2009.
  • Report No. 08-12 Several Alternatives Could Be Used to Reduce Increasing Imprisonment of Persons Driving with Suspended Licenses,published in March 2008.

Copies of this report in print or alternate accessible format may be obtained by telephone (850/488-0021), by FAX (850/487-9213), in person, or by mail (OPPAGA Report Production, Claude Pepper Building, Room 312, 111 W. Madison St., Tallahassee, FL 32399-1475).
e-mail address: oppaga@oppaga.fl.gov


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