New Jersey Drug Court Program Economic Impact

  • Researchers have estimated1 that a baby born of a drug-addicted mother will cost the medical and social systems between $750,000 to 1.5 million dollars per baby. Thanks to New Jersey’s Drug Court Program, 48 drug-free babies were born to formerly drug addicted mothers, saving society between 36 and 72 million dollars.
  • The RAND Corporation2 found that for heavy users of cocaine, treatment costs one-seventh as much as enforcement to achieve the same reduction in cocaine use.
  • Every dollar spent on treatment leads to a $7.46 reduction in crime-related spending and lost productivity, according to a study conducted for the Office of National Drug Control Policy3.
  • The State of Washington4 found that for every dollar spent in drug court the Criminal Justice System benefits would be $2.46.
  • The State of Texas5 found that for every dollar spent on upgrading drug treatment from the traditional method of adjudication to drug treatment through DIVERT (drug) Court, $9.43 of costs can be saved by society over a 40 month period.
  • California6, in a study conducted between January 2000 and September 2001, found that during that period the State’s drug courts saved approximately $43 million in incarceration costs alone and collected almost $1 million in fees and fines from drug court participants.
  • In the State of New Jersey, drug court participants are expected to obtain employment, pay penalties, taxes, child support (if appropriate), victim restitution and otherwise meet financial obligations.
1 Study by Christopher J. Kalotra for the Office of Justice Programs, Drug Court Clearinghouse and Technical Assistance Project, American University, March, 2001.
2 Rydell, C.Peter, and Susan S. Everingham, Controlling Cocaine: Supply Versus Demand Programs, Santa Monica, CA.:RAND, MR-331-ONDCP/A/DPRC, 1994.
3 Drug Use Forecasting, Annual Report on Adult and Juvenile Arrestees 1995, National Institute of Justice.
4 Washington State Institute for Public Policy, Olympia, Wa., January, 1999.
5 Department of Economics at Southern Methodist University, study published in August, 2002.
6 State of California, Administrative Office of the Courts, 2003.
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