Collaborations Between Drug Courts and Service Providers

Characteristics and Challenges

Published in: Journal of Criminal Justice, v. 32, no. 3, May-June 2004, p. 254-263

by Suzanne L. Wenzel, Susan Turner, M. Susan Ridgely

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Addressing the multiple treatment needs of drug-involved offenders can enhance outcomes including sobriety and recidivism. Meeting drug court offenders' needs requires collaborative linkages between courts and providers of treatment and other services; however, there has been limited research on linkages. Using semi-structured interview data collected from administrators of fourteen drug courts and providers of services to offenders in those drug courts, this study described collaborative linkages and the challenges involved in fostering them. Although results suggest a moderate to strong level of linkage as perceived by both drug court administrators and service providers, services other than substance abuse treatment were sparsely provided through the drug courts. Limitations in funding, management information systems, and staffing were perceived as barriers to linkage. Results offer directions for enhancing linkages between drug courts and service providers and should be of value in improving quality of drug court treatment and offender outcomes

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