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Treatment Services in Adult Drug Courts: Report on the 1999 National Drug Court Treatment Survey

NCJ Number
Elizabeth A. Peyton; Robert Gossweiler Ph.D.
Date Published
May 2001
142 pages
This report presents the findings and the implications of a 1999 survey to determine substance abuse treatment services and other treatment services currently used by adult drug courts and to identify significant issues faced by adult drug courts in obtaining and delivering high-quality comprehensive treatment services.
Questionnaires were distributed to 263 operating adult drug courts, and 212 courts responded (81 percent). The survey was conducted in October 1999. The survey findings showed that treatment services designed for and used by drug courts comported with scientifically established principles of treatment effectiveness. Overall, the structure of drug court treatment is consistent with the principles established by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (1999) and is delivered according to the Drug Court Key Components and related Performance Benchmarks. A broad continuum of primary treatment services is available to drug courts. An analysis of the findings concludes that drug courts can cooperate with treatment providers and administrators, TASC programs, and other offender management efforts to generate sufficient resources and support at the local, State, and national levels to incorporate drug court activities into a larger strategy for managing substance-involved justice populations. This movement will provide the foundation for an effective, community-based strategy to reduce the drug use and criminal activity of the significant number of substance-involved offenders who are burdening our systems and our society. Drug courts can be more successful and attain greater impact by continuing to improve operations and expand to larger and more significant populations. Among the policy recommendations was that drug courts should establish and formalize more effective linkages with local service delivery systems and State and local alcohol and drug agencies. Also, States and localities should explore the development of drug court treatment standards. Further, drug court professionals and drug court treatment providers need skill-based training and technical assistance to improve engagement and retention of participants. Drug courts should implement effective management information systems to monitor program activity and improve operations; and they should improve the methods and protocols for screening, assessing, and placing participants in treatment. 33 figures, 3 tables, appended study instruments, and 50 references

Date Published: May 1, 2001