Policy often stipulates drug court funding cannot be used for offenders with violent criminal histories, although it has been argued that increasing funding to community programs for these individuals represents an important means for controlling crime. Because little research has examined whether a violent offense history is related to recidivism following drug court participation, predrug court criminal history and postdrug court arrest and charge data have been collected for 452 offenders in a postplea drug court program. Bivariate analyses show violent offenders have higher rates of recidivism following drug court discharge. However, multivariate analyses controlling for age, ethnicity, drug of choice, time at risk, and discharge status show the extent of criminal history, not violent history, is significantly related to recidivism. Results suggest that violent offenders should not be systematically excluded from the opportunity to participate in the unique combination of treatment and supervision offered in drug court programs.
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