NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

If Drug Treatment Works So Well, Why Are So Many Drug Users in Prison?

Harold Pollack, Peter Reuter, Eric L. Sevigny

NBER Working Paper No. 16731
Issued in January 2011
NBER Program(s):Law and Economics

This paper examines the effectiveness of drug courts to reduce the size of the incarcerated drug-offending population using data from the Survey of Inmates in State Correctional Facilities and the Survey of Inmates in Local Jails. We find that very few of those entering state prison in 2004 or jail in 2002 would have been eligible for drug diversion through state drug courts. The policy implication is that drug courts and other diversion programs require substantial redesign if they are to contribute to a reduction in the incarcerated population.

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Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w16731

Published: If Drug Treatment Works So Well, Why Are So Many Drug Users in Prison?, Harold Pollack, Peter Reuter, Eric Sevigny. in Controlling Crime: Strategies and Tradeoffs, Cook, Ludwig, and McCrary. 2011

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