Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2022, $1,948,202)
Drug treatment courts afford justice-involved individuals the opportunity to receive treatment services, address criminal thinking, and navigate the recovery process. Recently, New York State (NYS) adult drug treatment courts have experienced an increase in opioid-related deaths and a decline in census, indicating that eligible individuals are not accessing the courts’ services. According to the NYS Department of Health, in 2020, drug-related overdose deaths rose 37% and overdose deaths involving any opioid increased 44% from the previous year (https://www.health.ny.gov/press/releases/2022/2022-04-04_qtr_opioid_rep…). Addressing these staggering numbers and identifying eligible treatment court participants has been especially challenging due to the global pandemic and changing legal landscape.
The NYS Unified Court System (UCS), in partnership with the Center for Court Innovation (the Center), seeks funding from the Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA) under the Adult Drug Court Discretionary Grant FY 2022 Competitive Statewide Grant Solicitation (BJA-2022-171041), Category Three: Statewide, with an award of $1,948,202. The funding will lead the development of a NYS Adult Treatment Court Comprehensive Screening Approach to engage eligible participants at each access point in the criminal justice system. NYS UCS has used a comprehensive screening approach in adult drug treatment courts in several counties since 2003 and would like to expand it statewide. The comprehensive approach would screen every justice-involved individual earlier for adult drug treatment court eligibility (https://nycourts.gov/courts/nyc/drug_treatment/publications_pdf/2008%20…). If the individual is eligible and interested in participating in the treatment court program, the court team, prosecutor, defense counsel, and participant work collaboratively to ensure program entry.
The Center and UCS will convene a stakeholder group from various disciplines to review interagency court data to identify and inform a range of potential new practices. Screening practices and practical recommendations will be tailored to ensure eligible participants are identified promptly and provided information about and access to adult drug treatment court resources and services, including medication for opioid-use disorder (MOUD) and other person-centered approaches. A data collection plan will also be developed to ensure that any new practices result in an increase in identification of and access to eligible participants who previously were not acknowledged or aware of adult drug treatment court services and benefits. This project will address Adult Drug Court Best Standards I (Target Population), Standard II (Equity and Inclusion), Standard IX (Census and Caseloads), and Standard X (Monitoring and Evaluation).
The NYS UCS previously received statewide BJA grant awards implementation #2007-DC-BX0001, 2009-DC-BX-0018, 2010-DC-BX-0121, 2011-DC-BX-0140 and 2011-DC-BX-0138, 2012-DC-BX-0012, and 2013-DC-BX-0070, 2013-DC-BX-0071, 2018-DC-BX-0137, 2018-DC-BX-0141, 2020-MU-BX-0130, 15BJA-21-04197-DGCT.