Drug courts represent the coordinated efforts of the courts, substance abuse and child welfare providers, and other community professionals to intervene quickly to break the cycle of substance abuse by placing offenders under court supervision and providing needed treatment services. Resources include examples of drug court strategies and programs that help families affected by substance abuse recover.
National Center for State Courts
Includes a resource guide, frequently asked questions, and publications about drug courts.
National Association of Drug Court Professionals
Promotes the establishment, growth, and funding of drug courts by collecting and disseminating information and providing training and technical assistance. Includes the National Drug Court Institute.
Courts That Heal
Lovato & Mack
Children's Voice, March/April, 2003
Explains the benefits of using family drug courts and provides an overview of their structural organization, court processes, successful innovations, and challenges.
Effective Management of Parental Substance Abuse in Dependency Cases (PDF - 212 KB)
Milliken & Rippel
The Journal of the Center for Families, Children & the Courts, 5, 2004
Presents the San Diego County Dependency Court Recovery Project as a model program for effective case management and treatment for families impacted by substance abuse who enter the dependency system.
Ensuring Sustainability for Drug Courts: An Overview of Funding Strategies (PDF - 1020 KB)
National Drug Court Institute (2008)
Presents State and local examples of creative sustainability strategies being developed by drug courts across the country. The report addresses both the monetary aspects of sustainability as well as the need for capacity building, educational efforts, and leadership development.
Family Dependency Treatment Courts: Addressing Child Abuse and Neglect Cases Using the Drug Court Model (PDF - 639 KB)
National Drug Court Institute (2004)
Summarizes the experiences of four well-established family dependency treatment courts, including information on common characteristics and approaches and recommendations for the development of a national strategy for these courts across the country.
Family Drug Treatment Court Standards (PDF - 247 KB)
Supreme Court of Virginia (2008)
Provides a framework of principles, policies, and practices for the approval of new drug treatment courts in Virginia. Each standard includes practices and recommends steps to be taken by courts in responding effectively to the co-occurrence of child maltreatment and substance abuse.
Michigan Logic Models: Drug Treatment Court, Communication, Screening, Assessment, Engagement, Retention, Evaluation, Funding, Marketing, Training and Technical Assistance (PDF - 101 KB)
Michigan State Court Administrative Office, Michigan Family Independence Agency, Michigan Department of Community Health, & National Center on Substance Abuse and Child Welfare (2004)
Presents logic models on a number of topics related to the collaboration of substance abuse and child welfare agencies in the State of Michigan.
An Overview of Operational Family Dependency Treatment Courts (PDF - 1208 KB)
Drug Court Review, 6(1), 2008
Reviews the policies and procedures of existing family dependency treatment courts (FDTCs), summarizes the common features of FDTCs, and encourages the continued improvement of practices to achieve permanency for children in dependency cases where parental substance abuse is a factor.
Promoting Permanency: Family Group Conferencing at the Manhattan Family Treatment Court (PDF - 127 KB)
Journal of the Center for Families, Children and the Courts, 4, 2003
Looks at the efforts of a Manhattan court involved in family group conferencing to promote two primary goals: speedy permanency and parental sobriety.
Quality Improvement for Drug Courts: Evidence-Based Practices (PDF - 645 KB)
Hardin & Kushner (2008)
Reviews research on effectively treating the drug court client and addresses practices in screening, cultural competence, gender responsiveness, case management, motivational incentives, and relapse prevention. The publication concludes with a checklist for designing problem-solving courts to address co-occurring disorders.
Effectiveness of drug courts
Family Treatment Drug Court Evaluation: Final Report (PDF - 1320 KB)
NPC Research (2007)
Examines whether court, child welfare, and treatment outcomes differed for families served through family treatment drug courts as compared to families who received traditional child welfare services.
How Effective Are Family Treatment Drug Courts? Outcomes From a Four-Site National Study
Green, Furrer, Worcel, Burrus, & Finigan
Child Maltreatment, 12(1), 2007
Results show that parents in drug court entered substance abuse treatment more quickly, stayed in treatment longer, and completed more treatment episodes. Children of parents in drug court entered permanent placements more quickly and were more likely to be reunified with their parents.
Jefferson County Family Drug Court Implementation Evaluation (PDF - 315 KB)
University of Kentucky Center on Drug and Alcohol Research (2005)
Includes a process evaluation and an outcome evaluation of the Jefferson County Family Drug Court Program in Kentucky.
The Sacramento Dependency Drug Court: Development and Outcomes
Boles, Young, Moore, & DiPirro-Beard
Child Maltreatment, 12(2), 2007
Provides a description of various types of dependency drug courts and reports 24-month reunification rates from the Sacramento, California, drug court.