A study from a team of researchers at the university of Kent and Kings College London shows that court-ordered treatament for drug dependence can be effective in reducing both offending and drug use. The study, published in the British Journal of Criminology, suggests that people who enter treatment as an alternative to imprisonment can reduce by almost three-quarters the frequency of their offending. The reseachers studied a group of drug-dependent people who went through Drug Tratment and Testing Orders (DTTOs) inservices across London and kent, and compared them to a group of dependent drug users who entered treatment voluntarily at the same treatment centres.
They found that people o DTTOs were as likely to reduce their offending and drug use as people who entered tratment voluntarily. On average, those sentenced to a DTTO reported a 71% reduction in the frequency of offending between the time of arrest and 18 months after they started treatment. The Sharpest fall in offending occured in the first six months of treatment. There were similar reductions in the frequency of drug use and in the money they spent on drugs.