Drug Court

Publications

A Person-Centered Approach to Risk and Need Classification in Drug Court

A Person-Centered Approach to Risk and Need Classification in Drug Court

By Warren A. Reich, Sarah Picard-Fritsche and Michael Rempel

This study suggests relying on summary risk scores alone to decide on treatment options for an important, hitherto under-emphasized, subpopulation of drug court participants may be leading to counter-productive outcomes. For the purposes of the study, 265 New York City drug court participants completed two commonly-used risk and needs assessments: the Level of Service Inventory—Revised, and the Texas Christian University Drug Screen II. By examining the pattern of responses used to compile the summary score, rather than only the score itself, study authors statistically identified three distinct groups of participants. One group was distinguished by the confluence of an extensive criminal history, severe mental health issues, and substantial interference in major life roles from substance use.

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Publications

Fact Sheet: Statewide Strategic Planning for Problem-Solving Courts

Fact Sheet: Statewide Strategic Planning for Problem-Solving Courts

Aimed at statewide problem-solving court systems, this fact sheet addresses the importance of strategic planning for goals such as the creation of performance standards, the efficient allocation of resources, and the development of statewide training programs. It also outlines how the Center for Court Innovation’s guided strategic planning process can help strengthen problem-solving court operations.

Publications

Evidence-Based Risk Assessment in a Mental Health Court: A Validation Study of the COMPAS Risk Assessment

Evidence-Based Risk Assessment in a Mental Health Court: A Validation Study of the COMPAS Risk Assessment

By Warren A. Reich, Sarah Picard-Fritsche, Virginia Barber Rioja and Merrill Rotter

This study examines the validity of the COMPAS with offenders who have a serious mental illness. A widely used risk-needs assessment tool, the COMPAS was found to be a good predictor of re-arrest with this population, although it was more effective in distinguishing low-risk offenders from all others than in identifying those who pose a medium as opposed to a high risk of re-arrest. Overall, approximately two-thirds of study-participants were classified as low risk. At the same time, more than half of the sample scored in the high range on the important needs domains of substance abuse, criminal personality, and criminal thinking. The study discusses potential implications for using the COMPAS with mentally-ill individuals.

Publications

Fact Sheet: Sentencing Reform and Drug Courts

Fact Sheet: Sentencing Reform and Drug Courts

This fact sheet addresses the challenges and opportunities that arise from sentencing reform, outlining the ways in which technical assistance can help drug courts assess and respond to these changes.

Publications

Implementing Evidence Based Assessment and Treatment Matching: A Feasibility and Impact Study in Three New York City Drug Courts

Implementing Evidence Based Assessment and Treatment Matching: A Feasibility and Impact Study in Three New York City Drug Courts

By Sarah Picard-Fritsche, Michael Rempel, Warren A. Reich, Erin Farley and Ashmini G. Kerodal

This report presents an overview of the feasibility and impact of introducing evidence-based risk assessment and treatment-matching protocols into three established New York City drug courts.

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Publications

Assessment and Treatment Matching: A Case Study of Traditional Practices in Three New York City Drug Courts

Assessment and Treatment Matching: A Case Study of Traditional Practices in Three New York City Drug Courts

By Erin Farley, Michael Rempel and Sarah Picard-Fritsche

The findings in this report are based on an analysis of two years of clinical assessment and treatment placement data in three established New York City drug courts. Findings suggest that case management staff in these courts regularly completed a lengthy bio-psychosocial assessment of each participant, but ultimately relied on a small number of factors related to current and past drug use, social support, employment, and residential stability when making treatment planning decisions. Further, treatment planning decisions were broadly informed by a desire to place drug court participants in the “least restrictive” treatment setting as an initial modality.

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Publications

Medication-Assisted Treatment in Drug Courts: Recommended Strategies

Medication-Assisted Treatment in Drug Courts: Recommended Strategies

By Sally Friedman and Kate Wagner-Goldstein

This report provides strategies for incorporating medication-assisted treatment for opioid addiction into the work of drug courts. Although based on the experience of courts in New York State, the report’s recommendations are not state specific and can be applied to courts around the country. The report was produced by the Legal Action Center and the Center for Court Innovation, with support from the New York State court system.

Publications

Fact Sheet: Treatment Court Training and Technical Assistance

Fact Sheet: Treatment Court Training and Technical Assistance

This fact sheet outlines the different forms of training and technical assistance provided to treatment courts across the United States, including strategic planning, on-site and remote assistance, and the implementation of evidence-based practices.

 

Publications

New York State Mental Health Courts: A Policy Study

New York State Mental Health Courts: A Policy Study

By Josephine W. Hahn

This report summarizes the findings of a statewide policy survey of New York’s adult mental health courts. The report identifies key needs such as the use of validated assessments and high demand for staff training, and the challenges of limited treatment options and housing shortages. Statewide strengths cited by practitioners include their individualized approach and highly collaborative court teams.

Publications

The Future is Now: Enhancing Drug Court Operations Through Technology

The Future is Now: Enhancing Drug Court Operations Through Technology

By Annie Schachar, Aaron Arnold and Precious Benally

Technology offers justice systems new ways to link offenders to substance abuse treatment and other needed services. In addition, technology enhances the ability of justice systems to monitor offender compliance and provide staff with ongoing training and professional development. This paper explores the use of technology in drug courts and offers recommendations for drug court practitioners seeking to enhance their work with technology.

Publications

Coming Home to Harlem: A Randomized Controlled Trial of the Harlem Parole Reentry Court

Coming Home to Harlem: A Randomized Controlled Trial of the Harlem Parole Reentry Court

By Lama Hassoun Ayoub and Tia Pooler

This study of the Harlem Parole Reentry Court compares participants in a neighborhood-based reentry program to similar parolees on traditional parole. Results indicate that the reentry court, which implemented a validated and reliable tool for assessing the risks and needs of individuals returning from prison, produced a 22% reduction in the reconviction rate and a 60% reduction in the felony reconviction rate over an 18-month follow-up period. The reentry court also produced a 45% reduction in revocations. Interview findings indicate that reentry court parolees were significantly more likely to be in school or employed and to have positive perceptions of their parole officer.

Read a summary of the report

Listen to an interview with one of the report's authors

Publications

The Role of the Judge in Specialized Problem-Solving Courts: Balancing Individualized Justice and Predictability

The Role of the Judge in Specialized Problem-Solving Courts: Balancing Individualized Justice and Predictability

By Michael Rempel

This book chapter by the Center for Court Innovation's research director summarizes the research demonstrating that the problem-solving judicial role directly contributes to reduced criminal behavior among program participants. The chapter also discusses individualized justice (assessing and responding to the needs of each defendant) and predictability (using standardized tools and generating clear expectations). Available in Offender Release and Supervision: The Role of Courts and the Use of Discretion, ed. Martine Herzog-Evans. Oisterwijk, Netherlands: Wolf Legal Publishers. Click here for ordering information.

Publications

Drug Courts

Drug Courts

By Michael Rempel

Drug courts are the oldest, most prolific, and most studied of the major alternative court models, which also include domestic violence, mental health, community, and reentry courts. What distinguishes drug courts is their focus on cases involving an underlying drug addiction. This article, authored by a Center for Court Innovation researcher and published in the Encyclopedia of Criminology and Criminal Justice (Eds. Gerben Bruinsma and David Weisburd, 2014, pp. 1159-1170), provides an accessible overview of the drug court model, relevant research, and related issues and controversies. Click here for an article summary and how to order.

Publications

Estudio diagnóstico del Tribunal de Tratamiento de Adicciones de Guadalupe, Nuevo León, México: Observaciones y Recomendaciones (Translation into Spanish, English version separately available)

Estudio diagnóstico del Tribunal de Tratamiento de Adicciones de Guadalupe, Nuevo León, México: Observaciones y Recomendaciones (Translation into Spanish, English version separately available)

By Michael Rempel, Joseph Spadafore, Suvi Hynynen Lambson, Valerie Raine and Antonio Lomba Maurandi

With funding from the U.S.  State Department, the Center for Court Innovation along with the Inter-American Commission for Drug-Abuse Control of the Organization of American States completed a diagnostic study of the Addiction Treatment Court in Guadalupe, Nuevo León, the first program of its kind in Mexico. English version separately available here

Publications

Evidence-Based Strategies for Working with Offenders

Evidence-Based Strategies for Working with Offenders

By Michael Rempel

This fact sheet distills a growing body of research about evidence-based strategies in five areas for reducing recidivism among criminal offenders: assessment, treatment, deterrence, procedural justice, and collaboration.

Contact
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