Problem solving courts

Statewide Efforts for Problem-Solving Courts

States across the country are undertaking the challenge of developing governing documents to provide oversight and accountability for operating problem-solving courts, including best practices, guidelines, recommendations, standards, certification checklists, or rules.
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An Overview of Statewide Efforts by Problem-Solving Court Type

The NCSC has compiled a reference table of current statewide efforts to operate, manage, guide, and hold accountable its problem-solving courts. View table

Community Courts

Red Hook Community Justice Center

The National Center for State Courts (NCSC) has released a major research report evaluating the Red Hook Community Justice Center, which concludes that the community court model can reduce crime and strengthen neighborhoods in a cost-efficient way. The report, A Community Court Grows in Brooklyn: A Comprehensive Evaluation of the Red Hook Community Justice Center, marks the third community court evaluation by NCSC researchers. Funding for the Red Hook evaluation was provided by a grant from the National Institute of Justice, Office of Justice Programs, U.S. Department of Justice.

Previous community court evaluations include:

Census of Problem-Solving Courts

In this project, the NCSC compiled programmatic data on all problem-solving courts nationwide. The census was the first to capture such data in order to better understand the wide array of problem-solving courts and their practices. Census questions focused on key components of problem-solving courts including: underlying social problems addressed, community collaboration, and services offered. Funded by Bureau of Justice Statistics.

Mental Health Courts

  • The Council of State Governments (CSG) Justice Center, in collaboration with the NCSC, has produced an interdisciplinary curriculum, Developing a Mental Health Court, which brings together national experience and expertise to introduce key concepts for mental health courts and other collaborations between criminal justice and behavioral health systems. More information and course access.
  • Mental Health Court Performance Measures (MHCPM) is a set of 14 performance measures that offers court managers and administrators a tool to monitor the performance of mental health courts.

Current Problem Solving Court Projects

Adult Drug Courts

Florida: Miami-Dade County. Conducting a three-year evaluation of the impact of grant funded activities implemented in the Miami-Dade Adult Drug Court including a randomized trauma treatment experiment.

Indiana: Madison County. Conducting an outcome evaluation of the adult drug court and reentry court, both part of the unified problem-solving court in Madison County, and providing technical assistance on performance measurement and performance management.

Iowa: Statewide. Developing a performance management system for adult drug courts consisting of a manual describing the performance measures, performance targets for the performance measures, and scenario-based performance management training to drug court stakeholders. Staff will also provide technical assistance to programmers to design reports to operationalize  the performance management system. 

Kentucky: Statewide. Implementing performance management system targets to inform strategic planning decisions and provide scenario-based training to enable the adult drug courts to more effectively manage their local programs.

Minnesota: Statewide.  Conducting an assessment of the current funding and staffing of Minnesota’s problem-solving court and developing recommendations for future funding models.

Maryland: Statewide: Developing a performance management system for adult drug courts consisting of a manual describing the performance measures, performance targets for the performance measures, and scenario-based performance management training to drug court stakeholders.  Staff will also provide technical assistance to programmers to design reports to operationalize the performance management system.

Michigan: Ottawa County.  Conducting a cost-benefit analysis of the 20th Circuit Court Adult Drug Treatment Court.

Nebraska: Statewide. Conducting a three-year project to develop evidence-based standards for Nebraska’s Adult Drug and DUI Courts, and to facilitate their implementation with fidelity by providing a supporting information infrastructure along with statewide training and/or technical assistance to drug court teams.

Utah: Statewide. Developing statewide performance measures for Utah’s Adult Drug Treatment Courts, as well as conducting a process evaluation of selected Drug Courts and an outcome evaluation of selected courts.

Virginia: City of Bristol. Conducting a three-year evaluation of the impact of grant-funded activities implemented in the Bristol Adult Drug Court.

Virginia: City of Norfolk. Conducting a three-year evaluation of the impact of grant-funded activities implemented in the Norfolk Adult Drug Court, Norfolk Mental Health Court and Norfolk Re-Entry Court.

West Virginia: Statewide. Developing statewide performance measures for West Virginia’s Adult Drug Treatment Courts, as well as conducting a process evaluation of selected drug courts and an outcome evaluation of selected courts.

Juvenile Drug Court

Florida: Miami-Dade County. Conducting a baseline program assessment, process evaluation, project implementation assessment and outcome evaluation in the Juvenile Drug Court.

West Virginia: Statewide. Developing statewide performance measures for West Virginia’s juvenile drug treatment courts, as well as conducting a process evaluation of selected juvenile drug courts and an outcome evaluation of selected courts.

DUI / DWI Court

Nebraska: Statewide. Conducting a 36-month project to develop evidence-based standards for Nebraska’s DUI and Adult Drug Courts and to facilitate their implementation with fidelity by providing a supporting information infrastructure along with statewide training and/or technical assistance to drug court teams.

New Mexico: Bernalillo County. Conducting a three-year evaluation of the impact of grant-funded activities implemented in the Bernalillo County DWI Drug Court and Bernalillo County Mental Health Court.

Mental Health Court

New Mexico: Bernalillo County. Conducting a three-year evaluation of the impact of grant-funded activities implemented in the Bernalillo County Mental Health Court and Bernalillo County DWI Drug Court.

Virginia: City of Norfolk. Conducting a three-year evaluation of the impact of grant-funded activities implemented in the Norfolk Mental Health Court, Norfolk Adult Drug Court and Norfolk Re-Entry Court.

Re-entry Court

Indiana: Madison County. Conducting an outcome evaluation of the adult drug court and reentry court, both part of the unified problem-solving court in Madison County, and providing technical assistance on performance measurement and performance management.

Virginia: City of Norfolk. Conducting a three-year evaluation of the impact of grant-funded activities implemented in the Norfolk Re-Entry Court, Norfolk Mental Health Court and Norfolk Adult Drug Court.

Family Drug Court

Colorado: Developing performance measures for family drug courts in Colorado.

Past projects > 2015 |  2014 | 20132012 | 2011 | 2010 | 2009 | 2008 | 2007 | 2006 | 2004

Projects completed in 2015

Arizona: Conducted an evaluation of the effectiveness, efficiency, and accountability of the Mental Health Courts (also includes specialized probation caseloads) currently operational in Arizona.

Illinois: Conducted a process and outcome evaluation of the McLean County, Ill., Behavioral Health Court Collaborative, encompassing an Adult Drug Court and Mental Health Court.

Illinois: Developed an evaluation plan for the Access to Community-Based Treatment (ACT) Court in Cook County.

Indiana: Conducted a process evaluation of the unified problem solving court in Madison County, Indiana (administratively unified mental health, re-entry, and drug court dockets) and provide recommendations on how to equip the program for an outcome/impact evaluation.

Oregon: Conducted a Mental Health Court evaluation for Lane County, Oregon

Pennsylvania: Conducted a statewide Veterans Treatment Court process evaluation and established performance measures for the Veterans Treatment Courts in Pennsylvania.

Texas: Conducted a process and outcome evaluation of the West Texas Adult Treatment Court Collaborative, encompassing Re-Entry Court, DUI Court and Adult Drug Court.

Wisconsin: Developed a statewide performance management system for Adult/Hybrid Drug Courts consisting of a manual describing the performance measures selected by Wisconsin, performance targets for the performance measures, and scenario-based performance management training to drug/hybrid court stakeholders.  Staff also provided technical assistance to programmers to design reports to operationalize the performance management system.

Virginia: Examined program practices that impact the long-term outcomes of Chesterfield County’s Adult Drug Court.  See: Cheesman, F., Graves, S., Holt, K., Kunkel, T,  Lee, C.,White, M. (2016)  Drug court effectiveness and efficiency: Findings for Virginia. Alcoholism Treatment Quarterly, 34 (2). Authors: National Center for State Courts

Virginia: Conducted a statewide impact and cost-benefit evaluation of Virginia’s DUI Courts.

Projects completed in 2014

Kansas: Conducted a process and outcome evaluation of Wyandotte County’s Juvenile Diversion program.

Kansas: Conducted a process and outcome evaluation of Wyandotte County’s Adult Drug Court.

New Jersey: Statewide. Conducted a multi-year process and outcome evaluation of the Morris/Sussex Vicinage famiy drug courts.

Virginia: Conducted an evaluation of the Adult Re-Entry Court in Norfolk, Virginia that employed a randomized experimental design and utilized a database largely designed by NCSC.

Washington: Conducted a three-year process and impact evaluation of Snohomish County. Washington’s Reclaiming Futures initiative.

Projects completed in 2013

Illinois: Court worker, probation officer, and treatment provider training, and the development and expansion of Behavioral Health Treatment Court Collaboratives for McLean County Court Services.

National: Research to Practice Project

Arkansas: SWIFT Court Implementation Assessment

New York: Red Hook Community Justice Center Evaluation

Projects completed in 2012

National: MHC Curriculum Development. The Council of State Governments (CSG) Justice Center has produced an interdisciplinary curriculum, Developing a Mental Health Court, which brings together national experience and expertise to introduce key concepts for mental health courts and other collaborations between criminal justice and behavioral health systems.

District of Columbia: Superior Court DUI and Prostitution Court.

Virginia: Chesterfield Adult and Juvenile Drug Court Video Project and Adult Drug Court Impact and Cost-Benefit Analysis

Projects Completed in 2011

Puerto Rico: Evaluation of the Drug Court Management Information System for the Office of Courts Administration.

Projects completed in 2010

National: Mental Health Court Performance Measures (MHCPM) is a set of 14 performance measures that offers court managers and administrators a tool to monitor the performance of mental health courts.

Kansas: Adult Drug Court Feasibility Study

Minnesota: District Court’s New Beginnings Program at Elk River, Sherburne County

Pennsylvania: Philadelphia Community Court Evaluation (Draft report)

Projects completed in 2009

National: Based on a review of seven mental health courts across the nation, the NCSC developed a communication model that effectively integrates the concerns of all members of the MHC team, both internal and external to the court. The project resulted in a set of best practices that foster better managed MHCs, generates cultural changes suitable for MHCs within the criminal justice system, and encourages multi-disciplinary trust and cooperation among the MHC team.
Mental Health Court Culture: Leaving Your Hat at the Door.  Executive Summary  | Full report

District of Columbia: Process Evaluation of the Fathering Reentry Court

Nebraska: Develop Statewide Performance Measures for Drug Courts

Pennsylvania: Develop Statewide Drug & DUI Court Performance Measures

Projects completed in 2008

National: Performance Measurement of Drug Courts: The State of the Art (2008). This Statewide Technical Assistance (TA) Bulletin updates the volume published in 2004 that described the methodology used by the National Center for State Courts to develop Statewide Performance Measurement Systems for the drug courts of several states.

Colorado: Performance Measures for Teen Court

Delaware: Strategies to Strengthen Juvenile Drug Courts

Florida: Plan for the Statewide Evaluation of Florida’s Drug Courts

Kentucky: Statewide Adult Drug Court Performance Measures

Michigan: Statewide Standards for Drug Courts

North Dakota: Statewide Treatment Standards for Juvenile Drug Courts

Oregon: Long-term Administration and Evaluation Plan for Drug Courts

Projects Completed in 2007

Hawai’i: Statewide Drug Courts Evaluation, Phase 2

North Carolina: Outcome Evaluation of Cumberland County Safe-Link Integrated Domestic Violence Court for the Administrative Office of the Courts

Wyoming: Drug Court Evaluation Plan for the Department of Health Substance Abuse Division

Projects Completed in 2006

Hawai’i: Statewide Drug Court Process Evaluation, Phase 1

Missouri: Ninth Judicial Circuit Court Drug Court Evaluation

Projects Completed in 2004

National: Drug Court Program Office, U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs, Development of Training Programs on Drug Court Evaluation Concepts and Strategies

Colorado: Evaluation of the DUI/DWAI System

Georgia: Evaluation of the Carroll County Drug Court

Michigan: Establishment of Evaluation Criteria and development of an RFP for the Adult Drug Treatment Court in the 6th Judicial Circuit of Oakland County

Michigan: Drug Court Case Management System RFP for the Administrative Office of the Courts

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