Problem-solving courts

STATE STANDARDS FOR PROBLEM-SOLVING COURTS INTERACTIVE MAP

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The NCSC problem-solving court experts include practitioners and researchers with experience in all problem-solving court models.

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Performance measurement for PSCs

Q&A: What type of evaluation is right for your court? 

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Deborah Smith


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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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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

Arkansas: Statewide. Conducting an outcome/impact evaluation of Arkansas’ Specialty Drug Courts to include Adult Drug Courts. The evaluation will examine participant and program characteristics associated with the successful completion of program requirements and rates of recidivism as compared to a matched group of standard probationers with similar characteristics.

Delaware: Statewide. Conducting a three-year project to assist with the development and implementation of performance measures and standard policies and procedures for Delaware's Problem-Solving Courts.

Illinois: McLean County. Conducting a three-year process and outcome evaluation of the Adult Drug Court and Recovery Court to broaden evidence-based practice and knowledge and lead to continuous quality improvement.

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.

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 two-year project to assess the impact and cost-effectiveness of Nebraska’s Adult Drug and DUI Courts.

New Mexico: Bernalillo County. Conducting a three-year project which includes a baseline assessment and process and outcome evaluations of the Second Judicial District Court’s drug court. The evaluations will result in improved practices that are consistent with NADCP Key Components and Best Practice Standards, and will lead the court to better program outcomes. Also conducting a program evaluation to enhance the overall effectiveness of the Drug Court Enhancement – Healing to Wellness Pretrial Services Division in Albuquerque.

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

Juvenile Drug Court

Arkansas: Statewide. Conducting an outcome/impact evaluation of Arkansas’ Specialty Drug Courts to include 
Juvenile Drug Courts. The evaluation will examine participant and program characteristics associated with the successful completion of program requirements and rates of recidivism as compared to a matched group of standard probationers with similar characteristics.

Michigan: Statewide. Conducting a six-year project to evaluate and develop an improved program model for Michigan's Juvenile Drug Courts using evidence-based practices. Includes a baseline assessment of program operations, plan for implementation of recommendations with technical assistance, process evaluation and final outcome evaluation findings.

Virginia: Chesterfield County. Conducting 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

Arkansas: Statewide. Conducting an outcome/impact evaluation of Arkansas’ Specialty Drug Courts to include 
DWI Courts. The evaluation will examine participant and program characteristics associated with the successful completion of program requirements and rates of recidivism as compared to a matched group of standard probationers with similar characteristics.

Nebraska: Statewide. Conducting a two-year project to assess the impact and cost-effectiveness of Nebraska’s Adult Drug and DUI Courts.

New Mexico: Bernalillo County. Conducting a four-year project to evaluate the impact of grant-funded activities implemented in the Bernalillo County’s DWI and Mental Health Courts. The performance assessment will include long-term outcomes of program participants in comparison to participants enrolled in a DWI Court or Mental Health Court in another jurisdiction with a similar demographic composition.

New Mexico: Bernalillo County. Conducting a three-year project to assist with the development of performance measures and integrating them with data collection into a case management system to support evaluations. Conducting process and outcome evaluations of the DWI/Recovery Drug Court, Urban Native American Healing to Wellness Court, and Community Veterans Treatment Court Program; and providing a tool to allow the specialty courts to document baseline performance and assess their performance trends over time.

Mental Health Court

Arkansas: Statewide. Conducting an outcome/impact evaluation of Arkansas’ Specialty Drug Courts to include 
Mental Health Courts. The evaluation will examine participant and program characteristics associated with the successful completion of program requirements and rates of recidivism as compared to a matched group of standard probationers with similar characteristics.

New Mexico: Bernalillo County. Conducting a four-year project to evaluate the impact of grant-funded activities implemented in the Bernalillo County’s DWI and Mental Health Courts. The performance assessment will include long-term outcomes of program participants in comparison to participants enrolled in a DWI Court or Mental Health Court in another jurisdiction with a similar demographic composition.

Veterans Court

Arkansas: Statewide. Conducting an outcome/impact evaluation of Arkansas’ Specialty Drug Courts to include 
Veterans Treatment Courts. The evaluation will examine participant and program characteristics associated with the successful completion of program requirements and rates of recidivism as compared to a matched group of standard probationers with similar characteristics.

New Mexico: Bernalillo County. Conducting a three-year project to assist with the development of performance measures and integrating them with data collection into a case management system to support evaluations. Conducting process and outcome evaluations of the DWI/Recovery Drug Court, Urban Native American Healing to Wellness Court, and Community Veterans Treatment Court Program; and providing a tool to allow the specialty courts to document baseline performance and assess their performance trends over time.

Past projects >  | 2017 | 201620152014 | 20132012 | 2011 | 2010 | 2009 | 2008 | 2007 | 2006 | 2004

Projects completed in 2017

Colorado: Jefferson County. Conducted an assessment of the Recovery Court's alignment with best practices and an outcome evaluation.

Michigan: Statewide. Conducted an outcome evaluation of the Adult Drug Courts, DWI and Hybrid Courts for Michigan's State Court Administrative Office.

Minnesota: Statewide. Assisted with the development of statewide Mental Health Court standards and the transition to the new standards.

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

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

West Virginia: Statewide. Developed statewide performance measures for West Virginia’s Adult Drug Treatment Courts, and conducted process and outcome evaluations of selected drug courts.

Projects completed in 2016

Colorado: Statewide. Developed statewide performance measures for Colorado's Dependency and Neglect System Reform program (DANSR), a new federal initiative.

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

Minnesota: Statewide. Conducted an assessment of the current funding and staffing of Minnesota's problem-solving courts and developed recommendations for future funding models.

Virginia: City of Norfolk. Conducted 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.

Projects completed in 2015

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

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

Indiana: Madison County. Conducted a three-year project evaluating the Madison County Adult Drug Court, Mental Health Court and Re-entry Court.

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

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

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

Virginia: Chesterfield County. 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.

Wisconsin: Statewide. 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.

Projects completed in 2014

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

Kansas: Wyandotte County. 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 family drug courts.

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

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

Projects completed in 2013

Illinois: McLean. 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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