Doug Marlowe: A Sober Assessment Of Drug Court

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Dr.Doug Marlowe has become the leading researcher and educator in the drug court and problem-solving court fields. He has accomplished what many had considered unthinkable, making scientific research accessible and understandable to the criminal justice professional. Applying his skills as researcher, lawyer, therapist, and educator, he is making scientific research that almost never seeps into the criminal justice professionals consciousness worthy of serious discussion.The following article documents key research supporting the expansion of the drug court model to reach more serious offenders in reentry courts.

In 2003, Dr. Doug Marlowe, then with the University of Pennsylvania’s “Treatment Research Institute” reported, “We know that drug courts outperform virtually all other strategies that have been attempted for drug-involved offenders”. More importantly, Dr. Marlowe noted that “high-risk [drug involved] offenders who have more severe anti-social predispositions or a history of not having responded to standard community-based treatment services” did especially well in drug court.  As the Bureau of Justice Statistics has estimated that 80% of those imprisoned are drug-involved (and applying Dr. Marlow’s definition, largely “high-risk offenders”), the benefits of engaging those returning offenders in a reentry/drug court hybrid are overwhelming and obvious.


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