On Thursday, the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Criminal and Civil Justice met to review the OPPAGA report on the effectiveness of Florida’s post-adjudicatory drug courts. Chapter 2013-40, Laws of Florida, directs OPPAGA to evaluate the effectiveness of Florida's post-adjudicatory drug courts, assessing the performance of the eight individual courts based on program completion, costs, and participant recidivism rates. These courts are located in Broward, Escambia, Hillsborough, Marion, Orange, Pinellas, Polk, and Volusia, and were created in 2009 through a combination of Federal and State funds in order to reduce prison costs by diverting non-violent felony offenders to the post-adjudicatory court program. While the costs per participant for treatment and per participant successful completion rate varied greatly among the counties, OPPAGA concluded that the programs are indeed diverting persons from prisons and saving money, not only though less incarceration but lower recidivism rates. OPPAGA also made two recommendations in order to ensure the continued cost effectiveness of expansion drug courts (1) require that judges sentencing offenders with scores of 22 points or less provide written justification for the drug court placement to increase the number of prison bound persons in the programs ; and (2) because treatment options, including residential treatment, are a factor in increasing the success of drug court participants, the Legislature could require each drug court to provide at least one residential treatment option for judges to use for participants who require this level of treatment. Because residential treatment is more costly than outpatient treatment, drug courts could implement this requirement at current funding levels by decreasing the number of participants served to ensure funding availability for residential treatment slots. The recommendations are expected to be part of an omnibus sentencing reform package prepared by the Committee.