Drug Court Program Monitoring: Lessons Learned About Program Implementation and Research Methodology

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Drug courts were established in the United States as part of an effort to deal with the problems of drug-related criminal offending and the resulting overloading of the courts. Drug courts are purported to offer considerable hope for positive change in offenders, largely because of the balance between intensive supervision and rehabilitative services offered through such programs. This article reviews the implementation of one such drug court in a southern state, discusses noted implementation benchmarks for effective programs from the drug court literature, and examines the findings and lessons learned about program implementation and research methodology from a process evaluation that used multiple methods to assess program implementation.