Drug courts seek to halt the revolving door of addiction and crime by linking addicted offenders to drug treatment and rigorous judicial monitoring. They bring together judges, prosecutors, defense attorneys, treatment providers, and court staff in a collaborative effort to address the offender’s underlying substance use disorder and enforce compliance with court orders. Drug courts also use a system of graduated incentives and sanctions to help substance abusers achieve and maintain a drug-free life. Today, thanks to well-established evidence that drug courts reduce substance abuse and recidivism—including a groundbreaking study by researchers from the Center for Court Innovation—there are approximately 3,000 drug courts in the United States. The Center for Court Innovation has been an active player in the drug court field, developing New York City's first drug court, providing technical assistance across the country, and advancing knowledge through research. In recognition of this work, the Center received the National Leadership Award from the National Association of Drug Court Professionals.
To get help planning, implementing, or evaluating a drug court, click here.
Launched in 1993, the award-winning Midtown Community Court is one of the country's first "problem-solving" courts. It has been replicated across New York and the world. Seeking to reduce crime and incarceration, it is infused with a mission of administering humane justice and responding to the needs of its surrounding neighborhoods. Midtown Community Court provides an array of services to tens of thousands of individuals through its comprehensive onsite social services clinic, fatherhood and workforce development program, community restitution program, and more. Always growing in its reach, the court now sees cases that originate in four separate precincts, and is the sole adolescent diversion and human trafficking court in Manhattan.
Midtown Community Court advances community interests, enhances public trust in justice, and promotes positive change among those affected by the justice system. It held its 20th anniversary celebration in 2013.
Thousands of problem-solving courts are testing new approaches to difficult cases where social, human and legal problems intersect. In recent years, many in the field have sought to "go to scale" with problem-solving justice, testing key problem-solving principles outside of the specialized court context. The Bureau of Justice Assistance of the U.S. Department of Justice funded the creation of a series of tools in support of these efforts, and in 2016 the Center for Court Innovation launched the 2016 Community Court Program in partnership with the Bureau of Justice Assistance.
To get help planning, implementing, or evaluating a problem-solving initiative, click here.