Economic evaluation of drug court: Methodology, results, and policy implications

T. K. Logan, William H. Hoyt, Kathryn E. McCollister, Michael T. French, Carl Leukefeld, Lisa Minton

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

46 Scopus citations


The purpose of this study was to conduct a cost-benefit analysis of three Drug Court programs in Kentucky for two groups of Drug Court participants: program graduates and program terminators. The economic benefits of the Drug Court programs were estimated relative to a comparison group of individuals who were assessed for the Drug Court programs, but did not enter the programs. This study highlights important factors in estimating the costs and the economic benefits of a Drug Court program. Results indicated that, particularly for graduates, Drug Court involvement was associated with reductions in incarceration, mental health services, and legal costs, as well as increases in earnings and child support payments. Net benefits and benefit-cost ratios for each program are presented and policy implications are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)381-396
Number of pages16
JournalEvaluation and Program Planning
Issue number4
StatePublished - Nov 2004

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This project was supported by Grant No. 1999-DC-VX-0123 awarded by the Drug Courts Program Office, Office of Justice Programs, US Department of Justice. Points of view in this document are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the official positions or policies of the US Department of Justice. We gratefully acknowledge program staff from each of the three programs as well as Lisa Shannon, Katie Williams and Jennifer Kelder for their participation in the data collection.


  • Cost-benefit analysis
  • Drug court
  • Economic evaluation
  • Evaluation
  • Recidivism

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Business and International Management
  • Social Psychology
  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Strategy and Management
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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