Manhattan Family Treatment Court

Overview

Launched in 1998, the Manhattan Family Treatment Court addresses the problems of children neglected by substance-abusing parents or guardians. The court is one of the first of its kind in the nation. The Treatment Court enrolls addicted parents in treatment and rigorously monitors their performance. The Court also improves service delivery by exchanging timely information about parents and their children with the social service agencies responsible for monitoring the placement of children. Improved communication also enhances the judge's ability to make informed decisions about custody and foster care issues, enabling children to move forward and gain stability in their lives as quickly as possible. In 2001, the demonstrated effectiveness of the program led to its institutionalization by the New York State Unified Court System, which has assumed total administrative oversight of the treatment court.

How It Works

Key features of the Family Treatment Court model are:

Dedicated Team: The Court is presided over by a permanently assigned judge operating out of a single courtroom. The judge is assisted by a team of court-based case managers who link clients to services and provide consistent monitoring.

Services: On-site support groups enhance parental engagement in the recovery process. A comprehensive network of community-based service providers provides treatment and other services to drug-addicted parents and their children.

Monitoring: The Court requires frequent appearances by parents to monitor progress. The Court responds to progress and failure in treatment by using a set of graduated sanctions and rewards, which provide consequences for parental conduct.

Partners

The Court works in collaboration with the New York City Administration for Children’s Services, Legal Aid Society and Assigned Counsel Panel. Funding has been provided by the New York State Unified Court System, New York Community Trust, Robert Sterling Clark Foundation, Bernard and Alva Gimbel Foundation, Ilma Klein Foundation and the federal Center for Substance Abuse Treatment.

Featured Research

Publications

Testing the Cost Savings of Judicial Diversion

Testing the Cost Savings of Judicial Diversion

By Mark S. Waller, Shannon M. Carey, Erin Farley and Michael Rempel

Rockefeller Drug Law Reform, adopted in April 2009, eliminated mandatory prison sentences in New York State for most felony drug offenders and sought to link more felony-level drug and property offenders to treatment. This study looked at the impact of judicial diversion, finding that the new law increased court-ordered treatment participation; reduced incarceration and recidivism among those treated; and increased savings.

Listen to an interview with study co-author Shannon M. Carey

Read a summary of the study

Publications

From Drug Court to Classroom: Creating a Court to College Program (Practitioners Manual)

From Drug Court to Classroom: Creating a Court to College Program (Practitioners Manual)

By Corey Calabrese, Valerie Raine and Gregg Roth

This Practitioners Manual provides step-by-step guidance for drug court teams looking to help participants pursue higher education. The other three manuals provide support for participants, interns, and trainers.

Publications

From Drug Court to Classroom: Creating a Court to College Program (Trainers Manual)

From Drug Court to Classroom: Creating a Court to College Program (Trainers Manual)

By Corey Calabrese, Valerie Raine and Gregg Roth

This guide for trainers is one of four manuals that, together, explain how drug court teams can create a program to help drug court participants pursue higher education. The Practitioners Manual provides a road map for the entire program, which gives step-by-step guidance to participants enrolling in and seeking financial aid for college. The other two manuals provide support for participants and interns.

Contact
  • New York
  • 520 8th Avenue
  • 18th Floor
  • New York, NY 10018
  • phone: 646.386.3100
  • Syracuse
  • One Park Place
  • 300 South State Street
  • Syracuse, NY 13202
  • phone: 315.266.4330
  • London
  • Kean House, 6 Kean Street
  • London, WC2B 4AS
  • phone: +44 2076.329.060