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

Author

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  • Harold Pollack
  • Peter Reuter
  • Eric L. Sevigny

Abstract

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.

Suggested Citation

  • Harold Pollack & Peter Reuter & Eric L. Sevigny, 2011. "If Drug Treatment Works So Well, Why Are So Many Drug Users in Prison?," NBER Working Papers 16731, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:16731
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    File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/w16731.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Anirban Basu & A. David Paltiel & Harold A. Pollack, 2008. "Social costs of robbery and the cost-effectiveness of substance abuse treatment," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 17(8), pages 927-946.
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    Cited by:

    1. Nancy Nicosia & John M. MacDonald & Rosalie Liccardo Pacula, 2012. "Does Mandatory Diversion to Drug Treatment Eliminate Racial Disparities in the Incarceration of Drug Offenders? An Examination of California's Proposition 36," NBER Working Papers 18518, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • G18 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Government Policy and Regulation

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