To be in a better position to gather the required information, researchers will visit various courts in the state of Colorado where they will gather information on a number of issues to ascertain some of the key issues presented in the research questions. In Colorado, the Denver Drug Court, which has been included in the literature review, will be investigated to find out how it goes about its operations as far as carrying out treatment and justice for drug offenders is concerned.
The drug courts in the United States are preferred over those in the United Kingdom because the US system has been in place for a longer time and is well established. On the same note, although the United Kingdom has some of the oldest criminal courts in the world, the researchers will concentrate on US criminal courts because there is no need to bring in another variable (country). In this light, therefore, there will be a survey of three drug courts in Colorado (including the Denver Drug Court) and three criminal courts in the same state.
These will be picked randomly to avoid the risk of data duplication. The aim will be to assess how they have been spending on their various activities. Research Design The specific research design will entail seeking to measure the overall costs of carrying out trials in each of the courts. Then for the three courts on every side, an average cost will be calculated which includes the time investment as well as the costs of manpower, facilities, logistics, recurrent expenditure, among other key variables.
For this particular evaluation, there will be both dependent and non-dependent variables (Marczyk, 2005). The dependent variables include attitude towards the drug court program, and knowledge of the information of drug use given by the providers to the offenders. The independent variables include the age, gender and the nationality of drug offenders. There will also be quantitative and qualitative analysis because the data is both qualitative and quantitative. The court accounting officers in either case will be required to give the data about the various expenditures that are incurred by the court.
Although it is highly likely that there is no clear record of these, efforts will be done to get them. The main aim is to find out the total expenditure that is input in the courts; and this will be extrapolated to cover a period of 10 years because this is the time when it is expected that at least the figures are consistent and the offenders have had time to heal. Within this time frame, it is also possible to assess the long-term benefits of the drug offenders and try to quantify them so that they can be subtracted from the expenditures.
In addition to this, there will a determination of the average time it takes for a drug court to finish up with one offender, quantify this time using a standard of one court hour being equal to 100 dollars. Then the expenditure for every of the personnel and other costs will added to this to ascertain the total sum of costs incurred by the court for every year up to ten years. For every year, the total costs will be added to the total revenue (or benefits) and a net value of costs will be reached.
An average for the three courts will be found and taken as the cost of running the courts for the ten-year period. The same will be done for the criminal courts, and the two will be compared. In essence, secondary data sources, mainly audit books and statements of account, will be used. In addition, there will be interviews of some offenders who have been or are still on the drug court treatment program to find out what they have benefitted or lost as measured by how they will be leading their lives at the time of the interview.
The challenges will be many, especially quantifying variables like time and benefits. This is because what one person might regard as a benefit might be considered a loss by another. Therefore, there will have to be many assumptions made to ensure similar standards are applied throughout (Marczyk, 2005). Population and Sample The population sample will include all drug offenders, both children and adults of either gender. This means even juvenile criminal courts will be included. This is because drug offences among juveniles have been on the rise in the recent times.