Evaluation of Adult Treatment Drug Courts (ATDC)

EMT subcontracted with Westat on the Adult Treatment Drug Court (ATDC) multi-site evaluation, which was a response to the SAMHSA's initiative to enhance practice and expand available treatment slots in Adult Treatment Drug Courts across the country. The overall purpose of the three-year process and outcome evaluation was to determine the value added from expanding treatment dollars in these courts. Twenty sites funded during the first year of the initiative were included in the evaluation. The evaluation approach was to consider the context, mechanisms, and outcomes to determine effectiveness of drug treatment courts, using a realist evaluation strategy. It was a multilevel, mixed-method quasi-experimental design that realistically addressed the characteristics of the court programs, the hypothesized mechanisms by which their services have their impacts, and their wider community contexts. Data collection occurred at each level (participant and program/court) in order to describe and document the activities undertaken as part of ATDC grants and to support the evaluation of participant outcomes across grantees. The context-mechanism-outcome process components facilitated disentangling the effects of various grantee activities and identified which program elements were more effective, under what conditions, with which subgroups of participants. Data collection included: review of the grantees' applications and other documents; two intensive site visits that included systematic observations, in-depth interviews with drug court team personnel, participant focus groups, collection of administrative data, and concept mapping; the sites' GPRA data collection at intake and 6 months supplemented by a 6-month post-discharge follow-up interview by Westat; and arrest record ("rap sheet") data collected for drug court participants and comparison groups.

For additional information, please contact EMT at (916) 983-6680 or email us at info@emt.org.