Treatment Retention

The First Track achieved a 76% retention rate in 2011, which is remarkable given that it engages high-risk/high-needs participants, those assessed as having a high probability of recidivism and presenting with very complex, challenging needs owing to criminal history, severity of addiction, homelessness, damaged family bonds, chronic unemployment and mental health problems.

The Second Track achieved 85% treatment retention in 2011, targeting individuals who are at moderate-risk for recidivism with moderate to high treatment needs.



A 2012 evaluation of DCDC recidivism rates among forty 2009 and 2010 graduates, found that they amassed approximately 1000 arrests prior to enrollment.

The post-graduation recidivism rate was 22.5%, meaning that about 2 out of 10 were rearrested. Although there is no comparison group in DeKalb, approximately 65% of drug-involved offenders will be rearrested within three years of release according to the U.S. Department of Justice.

Additionally, recidivism studies using national samples of drug court graduates at 2 years post-program indicate that rearrest ranges from 27.5% (Roman et al., 2003) to 52% (Rossman et al., 2011).

For those who might consider incarceration a better option for drug-involved offenders, research yields no empirical relationship between incarceration and sobriety; most drug-involved offenders return to drugs and crime after release from jail or prison.



In 2011, the First and Second Tracks, aggregated together, cost approximately $22 per day for each participant versus $50 (+) per day for incarceration in the DeKalb County Jail. To date, DeKalb taxpayers have paid roughly 30% of the DCDC operational cost or $6.50 per day for each participant. The program uses the taxpayers’ investment to raise grants, covering about 70% of the annual operational cost with outside funding.

In fact, since 2006, the DCDC has raised and leveraged approximately $4,500,000 in grant funding for DeKalb County.



Approximately 90% of program participants are employed after the first 120 days: a remarkable accomplishment given the economy and the participants’ criminal and work histories.