Effective justice strategies
The problem-solving court approach is one that had been rapidly growing nationwide throughout the justice system over the last few decades. The most commonly known problem-solving court is the drug-treatment court but a wide range of specialized courts including mental health, juvenile, domestic violence, reentry, etc., are being developed to specifically address the underlying issues related to criminal behavior. These courts work across disciplines and with other institutions to deploy interventions that treat the offender while also holding them accountable for criminal actions.
Key components of problem-solving courts
(Recognized standards for "problem solving courts" in general)
Context of key components
The Office of Justice Programs, U.S. Department of Justice sponsored the development of "The Key Components" for drug treatment courts by a committee of The National Association of Drug Court Professionals. These ten components form the basis for standards for drug-treatment courts, and have been recognized by the Conference of Chief Justices as a beginning point for standards for "problem-solving courts" in general (see CCJ Resolution 22 and COSCA Resolution IV ).
Keeping the fidelity of the drug court model
The key components
- Drug courts integrate alcohol and other drug treatment services with justice system case processing.
- Using a non-adversarial approach, prosecution and defense counsel promote public safety while protecting participants’ due process rights.
- Eligible participants are identified early and promptly placed in the drug court program.
- Drug courts provide access to a continuum of alcohol, drug, and other related treatment and rehabilitation services.
- Abstinence is monitored by frequent alcohol and other drug testing.
- A coordinated strategy governs drug court responses to participants’ compliance.
- Ongoing judicial interaction with each drug court participant is essential.
- Monitoring and evaluation measure the achievement of program goals and gauge effectiveness.
- Continuing interdisciplinary education promotes effective drug court planning, implementation, and operations.
- Forging partnerships among drug courts, public agencies, and community-based organizations generates local support and enhances drug court program effectiveness.
National Association of Drug Court Professionals. (1997, January). Defining drug courts: The key components. Washington, DC: Drug Courts Program Office, Office of Justice Programs, U.S. Department of Justice.
Links to information about problem-solving courts (external links)
- National Center for State Courts - Problem-Solving Courts Resource Center
- The Center for Court Innovation- Problem-Solving Justice
- The Justice System Journal - Applying Problem-Solving Principles in Mainstream Courts: Lessons for State Courts
Drug/OWI (adult, juvenile, family):
- National Drug Court Institute
- US Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs, BJA - Juvenile Drug Courts: Strategies in Practice
- US Department of Justice, Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention - Model Programs Guide: Reentry Court
- US Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs - Delaware Reentry Court
- US Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs, BJA - Improving Responses to People with Mental Illness: The Essential Elements of a Mental Health Court
- Judges Criminal Justice/Mental Health Leadership Initiative (tools, resources and announcements for judges and justice system mental health efforts)
- National Judicial Institute on Domestic Violence, Futures without Violence - Creating a Domestic Violence Court
- Center for Court Innovation
- Court programs for Wisconsin veterans
- National Center for State Courts Resource Guide on Veterans Courts (external link)
- U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Veteran Justice Outreach Initiative (external link)
- The National Clearinghouse for Veterans Treatment Courts, Justice for Vets (external link)