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Drug Court & Other Problems Solving Courts: State of the Science

Bethesda North Marriott Hotel Conference Center
Bethesda, MD
September 12-13, 2006

NIDA Organizer:
Redonna K. Chandler, Ph.D.

Meeting Purpose and Intent:

The purpose of this meeting was to bring together researchers and drug court professionals to:

  • Review existing research on drug courts and implementation of treatment into the court system;
  • Identify research interests of professionals working within drug courts;
  • Identify gaps in the research literature pertaining to the integration of treatment into drug courts; and
  • Develop strategies to facilitate the implementation of evidence based practices into drug courts.

Brief Discussion of Outcome:

Researchers developed 20 minute presentations for panels to discuss issues relevant to drug courts and drug court research, the impact of organizational-level factors on drug court performance and outcomes, models for integrating treatment into drug courts, strategies for improving the quality of treatment delivered in drug courts, and the evolution of other "problem-solving courts." Following formal presentations, a discussant facilitated a conversation between meeting participants. Drug court professionals including prosecutors, defense attorneys, judges, and drug court coordinators responded to the presentations discussing issues related to the challenges of participating in research and areas where they felt more research was needed.

Themes that emerged from the meeting included:

  • Drug courts differ in methods and efficiencies
  • New conceptual models to examine the complexities of drug courts are needed
  • Variables to be addressed within drug courts include organizational, contextual and environmental realms
  • Economic research is needed

The meeting concluded with suggestions for a research agenda including:

  • Economic and cost-benefit research
  • Implementation research examining organizational factors associated with the implementation of evidence-based practices and innovation
  • Integration issues and ways to facilitate the process of collaboration between drug abuse treatment and drug court staff
  • Identifying individual factors of drug court clients that impact outcomes and tailoring intervention to meet specific needs
  • Examination of the judicial interaction process
  • Effects of procedural justice
  • Common performance measures for drug courts
  • Role of technology in improving effectiveness of drug courts
  • Models to facilitate collaboration across service systems for drug court clients with co-morbidities

Publications: None to date

Presenter list (PDF Format, 72kb), (Word Format, 92kb)
Agenda (PDF Format, 116kb), (Word Format, 100kb)

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