The Effect of Ankle Monitors during Drug Treatment on Drug Treatment Completion, Substance Abuse and Recidivism in Women in Dallas, Texas

Marjan Annemie Cobbaert, The University of Texas School of Public Health

Abstract

Introduction: Drug courts are an alternative approach for drug offenders in the criminal justice system to reduce recidivism and drug use in adults. Residential community-based treatment has been shown to provide positive results for women in Drug Courts, but absconding from treatment is a common problem. In response to absconding, a number of Dallas County Drug Courts introduced mandated GPS tracking ankle monitors to increase drug treatment completion and drug court effectiveness. ^ Methods: We evaluated the effect of ankle monitors on drug treatment completion, positive urinalysis at any time in the first 6 months of drug court, continued drug use 6 months after starting drug court, and re-arrests/warrants in 31 women referred to residential drug treatment by the Dallas County Drug Courts using bivariate and multivariate logistic regression. ^ Results: Overall, 77.4% of women completed drug treatment, and 51.6% of women were re-rearrested or had a warrant for arrest 6 months after starting treatment. Women with ankle monitors were 0.05 times less likely to be re-arrested or have an active arrest warrant compared to women without ankle monitors (OR 0.05, p-value 0.04). We also found a positive but not significant association between ankle monitor use and treatment completion (OR 9.9; p-value 0.14). ^ 32.3% of women had a positive urinalysis at some point during the first 6 months post-treatment and 16.1% was still using drugs and/or alcohol 6 months post-treatment. Ankle monitors did not affect positive urinalysis (OR 4.2; p-value 0.36) or continued drug use 6 months after starting drug court (OR 0.32; p-value 0.42). ^ Conclusion: Ankle monitors appear to reduce re-arrest, but not drug use, among women in Dallas Count Drug Courts. Drug Courts might consider using GPS-tracking ankle monitors to reduce re-arrests. Further research in a larger study population is needed to evaluate the long-term effect of ankle monitors on drug court completion, drug use and re-arrests/warrant 1 year after starting treatment.^

Subject Area

Public health|Epidemiology

Recommended Citation

Cobbaert, Marjan Annemie, "The Effect of Ankle Monitors during Drug Treatment on Drug Treatment Completion, Substance Abuse and Recidivism in Women in Dallas, Texas" (2017). Texas Medical Center Dissertations (via ProQuest). AAI10270837.
http://digitalcommons.library.tmc.edu/dissertations/AAI10270837

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