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Operationalizing Equity, Measuring Program Performance, and Improving Best Practice Adherence in Minnesota Treatment Courts

Award Information

Award #
Funding Category
Congressional District
Funding First Awarded
Total funding (to date)

Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2021, $1,650,000)

The Minnesota Judicial Branch (MJB) requests $1.5 million in Category 4: Statewide to:

operationalize Equity and Inclusion – Adult Best Practice Standard II (pages 3-8) ;
implement best practice standards related to drug testing and defense attorney representation – Adult Best Practice Standards VII  and VIII (pages 12-16);
solidify treatment court performance measures and enhancing the new treatment court data collection system – Adult Best Practice Standard X (pages 8-12); and
training for operational treatment court teams – Adult Best Practice Standard VIII (pages 16-17).

       The State of Minnesota currently has 68 operational treatment courts: 20 adult drug courts, 17 drug/DWI hybrid courts, 14 DWI courts, eight veterans treatment courts, four mental health courts, three FDTC, one drug/DWI/FDTC hybrid court, and one juvenile drug court. Treatment court funding comes from a variety of sources. Approximately $5 million annually is allocated from the Minnesota State Legislature, and distributed to 39 local treatment courts for program operations. Additionally, approximately $2.6 million annually from the Minnesota Department of Public Safety (DPS) and Minnesota Department of Human Services (DHS) is distributed through grants to the 14 DWI courts and four mental health courts for program operations. Grants to local courts from the Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA) and Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) fund eight treatment courts. Local county/city funds as well as private grants fund the remaining three courts.

    As of December 31, 2020, the 68 treatment courts were serving 1,428 participants with a maximum capacity of 2,265. Throughout the pandemic, the MJB State Court Administrator’s Office (SCAO) regularly tracked active participant numbers in treatment courts. Prior to the pandemic in March 2020, the 68 treatment courts were serving 1,580 participants, a decline of 152 participants from the prior year. By securing grant funds and implementing the tasks outlined here, we anticipate serving additional individuals, thereby, coming closer to our maximum capacity of 2,265. 

    All Minnesota treatment courts have a goal of adhering to NADCP’s Adult Drug Court Best Practice Standards and the Minnesota Treatment Court Standards. As part of these standards, Minnesota treatment courts will not deny any eligible client access to the program because of their use of U.S. Food and Drug Administration-approved medications for the treatment of substance abuse. Additionally, Minnesota treatment courts are committed to providing evidence-based interventions to participants with opioid and/or other substance use disorder(s), including strategies for early assessment and entry into treatment to prevent overdose.

Date Created: December 17, 2021