Community Courts in Orange County

There’s a recent article in The Atlantic describing the “Community Court” in Orange County, and summarizing some of the history and issues around collaborative courts. Amongst other things, the article describes some of the economies involved:

“According to the court’s 2015 annual report, it had a 28-percent recidivism rate for drug-court graduates who had been out of the program for at least three years, compared to 74 percent for drug offenders in the county. The recidivism rate for DUI-court graduates was 9.9 percent among those who completed the program five or more years ago, compared to 21 and 25 percent for second- and third-time DUI offenders. The rate for mental-health-court graduates was 25 percent, and 10.5 percent for veteran-treatment-court graduates.

This creates significant savings for the county and state. “In 2015, the stayed sentences of adult and juvenile program graduates resulted in 67,539 custody days saved … which translates to a savings of $11.2 million,” according to the court’s estimates. The California Judicial Council estimates that every dollar invested in Santa Ana results in a cost savings of $7.30.”

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