Author Craig Jones
Published June 2012
Report Type Affiliated publication
Subject Court processes and delay; Drugs and Drug Courts; Prisons and prisoners; Sentencing
Keywords drug court, judicial supervision, randomized controlled trial, drug use, imprisonment

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This study examined the short-term outcomes from a randomized trial of intensive judicial supervision (IJS) in an Australian drug court. One hundred thirty-six participants were randomly allocated into IJS or supervision-as-usual (SAU) conditions. The IJS group reported back to the judge twice weekly during Phase 1, and the SAU group reported back weekly. IJS participants had lower odds of returning positive urinalysis tests and accumulated fewer sanctions (accrued days in custody) than those in the SAU group. There was no significant difference in the rate at which sanctions were served in prison, time spent on the program, progression to later program phases, or likelihood of graduating from the program, although there was low statistical power to detect differences in these latter outcomes. Intensively supervising drug court participants clearly reduces early-phase substance use and sanction accrual rates. The impact of IJS on longer-term outcomes remains to be seen.