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16 J. Experimental Criminology 1 (2020)

handle is hein.journals/jexpcrm16 and id is 1 raw text is: Journal of Experimental Criminology (2020) 16:1-25
How   do drug courts work?                                            Check for
John K. Roman' - Jennifer Yahner2 - Janine Zweig2
Published online: 13 March 2020
O Springer Nature B.V. 2020
Objectives We report the results of a multilevel structural equation model of the
Multisite Adult Drug Court Evaluation that empirically tests theoretical pathways to
desistance from drug use and criminal behavior.
Methods First, we consider how to operationalize the theoretical mechanisms through
which drug court practices are meant to impact outcomes. A path model is proposed
that delineates how drug-court practices change perceptions and attitudes, and how
these changes subsequently affect drug use and crime. Proposed mediators include
changes in court practices (e.g., court appearances, drug testing, and treatment) and
psychological mediators, including perceived risk and reward (deterrence), perceived
legitimacy (procedural justice), and motivation to change one's behavior through
substance abuse treatment.
Results Results suggest that one element of procedural justice, the clients' attitude
toward the judge, is the most crucial theoretical mediator on the pathway to desistance
from drug use and crime.
Conclusions Study limitations and directions for future research are discussed.
Keywords Drug court - Mediation - Moderation - Procedural justice
Few crime control programs have been as thoroughly researched as the drug treatment
court. Since the first evaluation ofthe original drug court in Miami-Dade, FL (Goldkamp
and Weiland 1993), more than one hundred studies with a comparison group have been
published in the scholarly press in fields spanning criminology, social work, sociology,
public policy, and public health. The general conclusion of this literature is that drug
W John K. Roman
NORC at the University of Chicago, Chicago, IL, USA
2  Urban Institute, Washington, DC, USA

4_ Springer

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