By using a combination of community-based treatment and rigorous monitoring, treatment courts reduce recidivism and the use of incarceration.
We developed New York City’s first drug court, the Brooklyn Treatment Court, and New York’s first mental health court, the Brooklyn Mental Health Court. Today there are thousands of such treatment courts across the country.
Drug courts bring together judges, prosecutors, defense attorneys, treatment providers, and court staff in a collaborative effort to address defendants’ substance use disorders. Due in part to a groundbreaking study by researchers from the Center for Court Innovation, there is a broad consensus that drug courts reduce substance use and recidivism. In recognition of its work in this domain, the Center received the National Leadership Award from the National Association of Drug Court Professionals.
Mental health courts similarly link participants who would ordinarily be prison-bound to long-term community-based treatment. They rely on thorough mental health assessments, individualized treatment plans, and ongoing judicial monitoring to address both the mental health needs of offenders and the public safety concerns of communities.
Brooklyn Mental Health Court
The Brooklyn Mental Health Court offers community-based treatment in lieu of incarceration to defendants with serious mental health diagnoses.
Brooklyn Treatment Court
The Brooklyn Treatment Court links nonviolent, substance-abusing defendants to drug treatment as an alternative to incarceration.
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.
An examination of factors associated with program compliance and recidivism in the Brooklyn Mental Health Court, this report documents that prior criminal history and having a co-occurring substance disorder predict noncompliance, mental health court failure, and re-arrest.
This fact sheet details the implementation of innovative teleservices programs in seven jurisdictions around the country. The jurisdictions featured in this publication use teleservices to increase treatment court capacity, overcome treatment barriers, supervise participants, and provide training for staff.
In her State of Our Judiciary address, New York Chief Judge Janet DiFiore says the model for the Bronx's new opioid court—offering treatment and services through our Bronx Community Solutions in lieu of a guilty plea and incarceration—will be expanded across New York City.