The results are in: AIM Court is an overwhelming success.
The Meadows Mental Health Policy Institute conducted a “rigorous recidivism and cost-benefit analysis” of AIM Court, a Specialty Court Docket Judge Birmingham helped create upon taking the bench in 2015. Find out more…
The MMHPI 1Meadows Mental Health Policy Institute revealed two very significant conclusions in their newly released 50 page report.2You can access the full report below. The first deals with how quickly the door to the courthouse revolves (Recidivism); the second deals with whether we should invest money in trying to stop that door from revolving(Cost-benefit).
Recidivism Reduced: First, the recidivism rate for AIM Court Graduates is only 5%. While they are in the program, AIM Court participants are 74% less likely to be arrested for a new offense in the two years after they begin AIM when compared to demographically and criminogenically similar probationers.
Cost-Benefit: If you take into account future labor market earnings, legal system costs associated with these lower recidivism rates, and even factor in the higher cost of AIM as a program compared to probation, AIM had a cost savings of $6.86 for every $1 invested. The benefits to society associated with avoiding the legal system and jail costs associated with re-arrest for AIM Court Graduates is $28,239.70.
Judge Birmingham said, “The MMHPI study proves that a creative approach to reduce recidivism works. We have found a long-term solution that benefits not only the individual, but all of society.”
Judge Birmingham credits the AIM Staff for the glowing report: “I am so fortunate to work with and learn from the stellar AIM Court Team. They are the reason the program works.” The current members of the AIM Team are: George Johnson, Danetra Denson, Nathaniel Clark, Jr.3Dallas County Adult Probation; Audrey Garnett, Kimberly J. Duran, Sylvia Araiza, Daryl Bradley4Dallas County District Attorney’s Office; Krist Caldwell5Dallas County Public Defender’s Office; Michael Williams6Integrated Psychotherapeutic Services.
Judge Birmingham would like to thank Dallas County District Attorney John Creuzot and Dallas County Chief Public Defender Lynn Richardson for sharing their talented personnel with the AIM Court. “The collaborative effort by two offices normally opposed to one another has been a key to AIM’s success.”
AIM was originally created in collaboration with Judge Susan Hawk when she was District Attorney in 2015. “We had an idea to help youthful offenders avoid the lifelong perils of a felony conviction,” Judge Birmingham said. “I am grateful for her foresight and guidance during AIM’s formative years.”
Judge Faith Johnson allowed AIM to continue when she became the District Attorney, and the program continued to grow. “Judge Johnson eagerly supported AIM’s expansion. We made 17-year-olds eligible, and forged new community partnerships in order to provide a broader range of services to AIM participants.” Some of those partners include Integrated Social Venture Partners, Psychotherapeutic Services, The Oasis Center, the Dallas County Community College District, Bonton Farms, and Café Momentum.
When Judge Creuzot took office, he asked Judge Birmingham if he would allow MMHPI to conduct a cost-benefit analysis of AIM. “It was a big risk. Had the study found that AIM did not recidivism or was not cost-effective, the continued existence of the program would be impossible to justify. Judge Creuzot and I both felt like the program was successful, but an in-depth study of the data is the only way to know. Now we know that the data supports our mission: AIM works, and the payoff is significant.”
The full study is available here: