News Release – Community based drug treatment program study highlights success in providing real, meaningful help

Calgary, AB – This week, the Calgary Drug Treatment Court [CDTC] released a comprehensive five-year study providing emerging evidence of the program’s success in rehabilitating criminal behaviour.

The study, beginning April 1, 2010, followed the progress of 36 participants and provides a review of their pre- and post-program convictions. Prior to entering the program, graduates collectively participated in criminal activities leading to 1279 convictions. Following graduation only 62 new convictions had occurred and additionally, 69.4% of the graduates had no new convictions at the completion of the study.

“This data is strong evidence that drug courts work. The cost to our community from drug related crime is staggering, far more than the cost of running the drug treatment court,” said the Honourable Judge James Ogle. “When addicted offenders get the help they need through the drug treatment court program, they stop doing the crimes that supported their addictions, their hope and dignity is restored, they get back to working and paying taxes, and the entire community benefits economically and socially in a very real way. Drug Treatment Courts are truly a “Smart on Crime” initiative,” stated Judge Ogle.

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In addition to the statistics outlined in the study the Calgary Police Service (CPS) collected data on the graduates’ pre- and post-program police contact and found that 75.5% have had 3 or fewer interactions with police since completing the program – compared to an average of 20.7 interactions with police prior.

“These individuals were committing crimes throughout our community to fuel their drug addictions. By redirecting them into a program that can assist in addressing the root causes of their addictions, we prevent further victims,” stated Staff Sergeant Martin Schiavetta of the CPS Drug Unit.

“We are providing real help,” said Arla Liska, CEO of the CDTC. “We know that when non-violent drug-addicted offenders are provided with the right type and intensity of services, they can change their lives, and often in remarkable and transformative ways.

“We are doing important work and we are thankful for the financial investments that fund our efforts,” stressed Liska. “This pre- and post-program study illustrates our program’s success and the important impact we are having on Albertans lives. I hope that our program is enabled to sustain and grow and that CDTC can provide real, meaningful help to many more Albertans struggling with addictions and criminal consequences.”

 

The CDTC has been in operation since 2007, providing the only community alternative to incarceration for non-violent drug-addicted offenders whose crimes are driven by drug addiction. CDTC is an evidence-based program that integrates court intervention and treatment services to end drug-driven crime and assist participants to return to family, work and community.

For the full report and more information on the CDTC and their programming, visit http://calgarydrugtreatmentcourt.org/our-results/

Arla Liska, CEO
Calgary Drug Treatment Court
arlal@calgarydrugtreatmentcourt.org
403.476.4700