According to Huddleston, et al. (2008), the clear-cut rules, intensive supervision and sanctions coupled with rewards that characterize drug courts appear to be the factors improving patient retention in the program. The overall objective of the treatment program is to reduce the incidences of drug abuse, thereby, lowering the incidences their chances of them sliding back to crime (Incidardi, 1996).
The practice of subjecting drug offenders to court-supervised treatment leads to lowering of drug abuse, and for that reason, it is safe to assume that the treatment they are subjected to leads to lower incidences of drug abuse and hence lower criminal activity levels. A number of reviews have been conducted to evaluate the effectiveness of drug court. One such review, and the most prominent of them, was conducted by Nolan (2002) and contained in Drug courts in theory and in practice.
From the review, he concluded that as long the drug offenders remained in the program, the drug courts would be effective. For instance the study found the in Miami those who attended drug courts had lower levels of recidivism in comparison to those individuals who had not been handled by the drug courts. However, the study did not take into account the differences that existed between the two groups of individuals because some of those handled outside the drug courts did not have any drug related case that warranted the attention of the drug courts.
Lower rates of recidivism among the participants whose offences were related to alcohol or drug abuse have been reported in some studies (Kratocoski, 2004). But in these studies, there were considerations of the many and major differences of the participants for example the age, gender, number of offences. In addition to that it did have a follow up period.