Drug Court

Drug Court targets adolescents (aged 15 – 18) and uses methods such as comprehensive supervision, drug testing, treatment services and immediate sanctions and incentives to reduce criminal recidivism and substance abuse. Requirements of drug court adolescents include random and weekly urinalysis, and eight weekly educational groups. Groups last approximately 90 minutes and the curriculum covers topics such as the pharmacology of drugs and alcohol, progression from substance use to dependence, addiction's impact on family, relapse prevention, treatment options, and HIV/AIDS risk reduction. Drug court duration varies, but typically lasts a minimum of 14 weeks.

Target group Young people aged 15-18 with non-violent drug or drug-related offences.
Focus of intervention
    Level of intervention
    • Indicated prevention
    Outcomes affected
    • Good behaviour
    Impact of intervention

    Crime: -0.12

    *statistically significant at p<0.05

    Figure(s) taken from Appendix A of this report.

    Meta-analysis updated in August 2013.

    Risk & protective factors targeted

    Cost-benefit analysis

    Source of benefits

    Contact information

    Douglas B. Marlowe, J.D., Ph.D.
    Treatment Research Institute at the University of Pennsylvania
    600 Public Ledger Bldg.
    150 S. Independence Mall
    West Philadelphia, PA 19106


    Local authorities running the intervention in the UK
    • None known at present

    Please contact us if you are running this intervention in the UK.