Cheshire County Drug Court Cost-Benefit Analysis

Dates: 2015-2016

State: New Hampshire

Client(s): Department of Justice Bureau of Justice Assistance

Service: Health Care & Public Health Planning

Technical Expertise: Behavioral Health, Substance Use


The County of Cheshire, New Hampshire, is enhancing the Cheshire County Drug Court Program (CCDC) with funding from the Department of Justice Bureau of Justice Assistance. The CCDC seeks to increase assessment, treatment, and recovery services being offered by the Phoenix House Keene Center and Southwestern Community Services to high-risk/high-need adult offenders in a post-adjudication model. The primary goal of CCDC is to positively impact the lives of those committing non-violent felony offenses because of substance-use disorder issues. This goal will be met through the development of a collaborative drug court team that will provide the rigorous structure needed for successful drug court participation, as well as through the expansion of evidence-based treatment and recovery services available to meet the needs of at least 129 participants being served (43 participants enrolled each program year).

JSI will perform a cost-benefit analysis (CBA) using the Transactional and Institutional Cost Analysis (TICA) approach developed by NPC Research. The TICA approach has been used by adult drug courts to determine 1) the program costs of judicial diversion (e.g., drug court); 2) the differential cost between court ordered treatment and business-as-usual, non-treatment costs; and 3) estimate the long term cost impact of drug court on the criminal justice system based on 3-year recidivism rates. This CBA will be done through a series of interviews with organizations and agencies involved in the drug court system as well as other agencies in the criminal justice system.

To compliment the CBA, JSI will conduct a limited-outcome comparison evaluation. This outcome comparison will determine if participants who go through the drug court have lower recidivism rates and more improvement in selected outcomes than their non-participant peers.

These results will be used to clearly define the CCDC model and associated costs, inform the drug court team about the effectiveness of the CCDC protocol. and to determine that the drug court model is a beneficial investment by the County.