Court programs

Effective justice strategies

Problem-solving courts

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.

Wisconsin problem-solving courts directory MS Excel
To add to or update information in this directory, please call (608) 266-3121.

Performance measures

Wisconsin Statewide Drug and Hybrid Court Performance Measures

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 Adobe PDF).

Keeping the fidelity of the drug court model: The key components

  1. Drug courts integrate alcohol and other drug treatment services with justice system case processing.
  2. Using a non-adversarial approach, prosecution and defense counsel promote public safety while protecting participants’ due process rights.
  3. Eligible participants are identified early and promptly placed in the drug court program.
  4. Drug courts provide access to a continuum of alcohol, drug, and other related treatment and rehabilitation services.
  5. Abstinence is monitored by frequent alcohol and other drug testing.
  6. A coordinated strategy governs drug court responses to participants’ compliance.
  7. Ongoing judicial interaction with each drug court participant is essential.
  8. Monitoring and evaluation measure the achievement of program goals and gauge effectiveness.
  9. Continuing interdisciplinary education promotes effective drug court planning, implementation, and operations.
  10. 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)

General information:

Drug/OWI (adult, juvenile, family):


Mental health:

Domestic violence:


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