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Based on a review of the international literature, this UK report assessed the evidence for the effectiveness of Britain's response to drug using offenders. Recommendations include maximising community treatment options as an alternative to imprisonment.
STUDY 2004 PDF file 241Kb
British study queries use of sniffer dogs to detect pupils' drug use
An evaluation commissioned by Bedfordshire Police concluded that walking secondary school pupils past police sniffer dogs trained to identify drug residues increased the costs and risks of police visits to school but added little in the way of benefits.
First randomised follow-up study offers little support for randomly testing US school pupils for drug or alcohol use, adding to a slim evidence base which has so far found little benefit to justify the risks and the costs.
Australian study addressing an issue greatly exercising the UK: do you get greater returns per £ from residential rehabilitation or from substitute prescribing? In terms of reduction in the frequency of heroin use, prescribing was one-and-a-half to three times more cost-effective.
STUDY 2004 PDF file 118Kb
Drug courts can work in Britain
Early studies from Scotland provided affirmative answers to the first two questions about drug courts in Britain – whether they can be made to work and whether offenders can be retained on the court orders.
STUDY 2004 PDF file 91Kb
DTTOs' anti-crime impact undermined by a failure to retain offenders
The first published study on Drug Treatment and Testing Orders (treatment offered instead of normal sentencing) in Britain revealed that their impact on drug-related offenders was seriously undermined by widespread failure to complete the orders.
STUDY 2003 PDF file 213Kb
Testing school pupils for drugs does not reduce drug use
Much publicised US research which found that school drug testing policies were unrelated to drug use among their pupils, interpreted as the most solid evidence to date that testing does not deter drug use.
STUDY 2001 PDF file 1065Kb
First test for the DTTO
Drug treatment and testing orders imposed by UK courts led the drive to cut drug-related crime, but a close inspection of the pilot study reveals that their own key indicator – test results – failed to demonstrate the orders' effectiveness.
STUDY 2008 HTM file
Treatment on bail makes little discernable difference
In 2004-5 three English areas piloted a court order which made assessment and if indicated treatment a condition of non-custodial bail. It prompted some defendants to enter treatment but impacts on retention, offending and imprisonment could not be shown.
STUDY 2008 HTM file
Botched DTTO response to crack using offenders
A report on how in 2003 and 2004 three English treatment and testing teams handled their crack using caseloads revealed poor management, strained inter-agency relations and either unknown or poor outcomes.
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