Objectives: Explore the extent to which adult drug treatment courts (ADCs) affect community-level crime, demonstrate the application of stacked event study estimation in quasi-experimental criminology research, and introduce a crime data optimization strategy.
Methods: Static and dynamic fixed effects estimation were performed on a longitudinal dataset constructed to address potential issues of bias, which included crime data linked to a unique list of ADCs and relevant control variables, resulting in over 52,000 county-year observations between 1990 and 2018.
Results: Crime reduction estimates range from 2% property index to a violent index drop of 6%. Counterfactual analysis indicates over 417,000 fewer crimes within this sample between 1995 and 2013 (which accounts for the stack design).
Conclusions: Considering their limited footprint, ADCs have an outsized effect on crime alluding to complex interactions between participants and communities. Though further investigation is needed, expanding these programs would likely continue to improve public safety.