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Projects > Criminal Justice > Drug Courts and Process Improvement

Drug Courts and Process Improvement

The criminal justice system is the largest referrer of individuals to publically-funded substance abuse treatment. Within the court system, drug courts have been designed to offer addicted offenders substance abuse treatment as an alternative to incarceration. Yet, “business” and administrative processes within drug courts create barriers to their clients’ access to treatment. Improving access to treatment can help addicted offenders achieve lasting recovery and also presents an opportunity to improve the health and safety of communities.

The NIATx Learning Collaborative for Drug Courts launched in fall 2009, with support from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) Adult Treatment Drug Courts (ATDC) grant program. The goal of this learning collaborative is to teach the grantees to use the NIATx model to improve access to and retention in substance abuse treatment offered through drug courts. The learning collaborative has also been working to spread the use of process improvement to drug courts across the nation.

Ten drug courts from the 2009 ATDC grantee cohort participated in the first yearlong collaborative, starting in January 2010. Five other ATDC grantees began a new yearlong collaborative in January 2011.