About Treatment Courts
Treatment courts are considered the most successful justice intervention for people with substance use and mental health disorders.
For three decades, treatment courts have proven that a combination of treatment and compassion can lead people with substance use and/or mental health disorders into lives of stability, health, and recovery.
This is a public health approach to justice reform in which treatment providers ensure individuals before the courts receive personalized, evidence-based treatment, and they work as a team with law enforcement, community supervision, defense, prosecution, and the judge to provide ongoing support and recovery services.
Treatment Court Success
Treatment courts in operation
Individuals served by treatment courts each year
Reduction in crime
Tax dollars saved per participant
Treatment Court Models
Adult Drug Court
Adult drug courts are an alternative to incarceration that combine public health and public safety approaches to connect people involved in the justice system with individualized, evidence-based treatment and recovery support services. Adult drug courts are the most carefully studied and well-proven intervention in our nation’s history for leading people with substance use disorders out of the justice system and into lives of health and recovery.
Extensive research shows adult drug courts are most successful with populations at high risk for committing new crimes or otherwise being unsuccessful under regular probation, and who have a high need for treatment and other recovery support services, but are unlikely to voluntarily continue these services long enough to benefit.
DWI courts make our roads safer by treating the underlying alcohol or polysubstance use fueling dangerous behavior by repeat impaired drivers. DWI courts supervise participants closely through judicial and probation accountability while providing substance use and mental health disorder treatment and other evidence-based interventions to prevent future instances of driving while impaired.
DWI courts reduce impaired driving more than any other strategy for those at the highest risk for recidivism and the highest need for substance use and mental health treatment.
Family Treatment Court
Family treatment courts provide a pathway to reunification for parents who have lost or are at high risk for losing custody of their children due to child abuse or neglect related to substance use and/or mental health disorders.
Working through civil family or juvenile courts, judges, court personnel, attorneys, child protective services, treatment professionals, and other community partners collaborate and coordinate services with the goal of ensuring that children have safe, nurturing, and permanent homes. Upon successful completion of the program, parents are frequently reunified with their children.
Family treatment courts end the cycle of abuse, neglect, and generational substance use disorder by addressing its underlying trauma and providing counseling for both children and parents to ensure that families are reunified in a safe, healthy, engaged household.
Juvenile Treatment Court
Juvenile treatment courts serve adolescents charged with delinquency offenses caused or influenced by a substance use or co-occuring mental health disorder. Judges, juvenile probation officers, court personnel, attorneys, treatment professionals, school representatives, family members, and other community partners collaborate and coordinate services with the goal of ensuring justice-involved youth reach adulthood safely and remain free of further justice involvement.
All Rise, in partnership with the National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges and the U.S. Department of Justice, is leading the efforts to enhance and expand juvenile treatment court programs through training and in-depth technical assistance.
Tribal Healing to Wellness Court
Tribal healing to wellness courts apply traditional Native healing and communal practices to serve individuals with substance use and mental health disorders who become involved in a tribal justice system.
Like adult drug courts, tribal healing to wellness courts employ a multidisciplinary approach that combines evidence-based treatment with culturally relevant support systems to promote recovery and community restoration.
Veterans Treatment Court
Veterans treatment courts are an alternative to incarceration for military veterans and service members whose involvement in the justice system is rooted in a substance use disorder, mental health disorder, or trauma. These courts connect veterans in crisis with the local, state, and federal benefits and treatment services available to them through their military service.
Most veterans are strengthened by their service, but some struggle to engage or re-engage with civilian life. When veterans and service members grappling with substance use, mental health, or trauma become involved in the justice system, veterans treatment courts ensure that they have the opportunity for treatment and restoration.
Treatment Court Resources