Having this kind of knowledge about the research topic puts the research in a more informed position (Byrne, 2002). This is because on the basis of the literature that has been reviewed, it is possible to establish a more specific area of the research topic so that the research can concentrate there. In order to do this, there have to be specific research questions and hypotheses to guide the research. Given that specificity is a very important aspect of any research, the following is an outline of the research questions that will be used to guide the research:
How effective are the drug courts with respect to the impact on the offenders? Do the drug courts have a positive or negative impact on the offender? Is the treatment plan effective? What are the various stages of the treatment plan? Other than their effective, what other aspects or factors ought to considered in the current efforts to reduce crime in the country and especially drug related crime? Hypotheses In a similar manner, the following hypotheses will be used to test the results obtained, having been used to guide the research process:
Drug courts are very effective in turning around the lives of drug related offenders, but this effectiveness can be enhanced by increasing the number of such courts. Although having mixed fortunes, the overall impacts of drug courts on the offenders have been positive. The treatment plan used by drug courts is more effective than that used by other institutions or those applied to clients on a voluntary basis. There are no specific stages followed as long as the drug offender is able to be helped.
Making the courts more sustainable, increasing their number, and enhancing the cooperation between the various officers involved in the system can go a long way in improving their effectiveness. The Evaluation Site and/or the Subjects of Study The research will seek to find out how effective drug courts are in changing the lives of drug related offenders. To do this effectively, there will be an assessment of some of the possible indicators of the success or lack thereof of this system.
Although there are many variables that can be measured, the research will mainly use secondary data collected from past accounts or records of the drug offenders (Melton et al. , 2007). There will, therefore, be a need to survey various police stations and gather information of drug offenders who have not managed to commit other crimes after they had been through a drug court. In addition to this, there will be visits to various law courts whose judges have taken part in trying these drug related offenders.
From these, there will be obtained information about the number of offenders who have been forced to go through the drug courts and the eventual performance of these offenders. The aim will be to ascertain if the offenders actually manage to change their drug behavior as indicated by their failure to recommit other offences. Another institution that will be covered will be the drug courts themselves where some of the offenders might still be undergoing treatment. Therefore, the information that is required will be obtained from various criminal justice systems.
That aside, community based rehabilitation centers will be studied to ascertain their level of efficiency in changing the lives of people who have drug problems. Hospitals, too, will be used to provide such records. The following five states will be covered: California Massachusetts Colorado New York Florida For each state, randomly selected centers of drug addiction treatment, including drug courts, ordinary health care facilities like hospitals, and special drug rehabilitation centers will be used. The criteria will be to pack those that have a record of dealing with patients who have committed some form of crime in the past.