Reference Guide for Standard IV: Incentives, Sanctions, and Service Adjustments

Offering helpful tips and cautions garnered from research findings and professional experience to assist with effectively applying responses

This guide offers helpful tips and cautions garnered from professional experience and research findings to assist the reader in applying responses effectively. It is not intended to be an exhaustive list. Treatment courts are encouraged to develop their own responses and to gauge the effectiveness of their responses within their programs. Some incentives in this guide (gift cards, concert tickets, other prizes, etc.) may not be allowable purchases under a federal or state grant award. Refer to the grant program solicitation and funding agency if you have questions about the allowability of incentive costs. Finally, this guide does not refer to the specific target behaviors that the incentives, sanctions, and service adjustments should be used to address.

Treatment courts apply evidence-based and procedurally fair behavior modification practices that are proven to be safe and effective for high-risk and high-need persons. Incentives and sanctions are delivered to enhance adherence to program goals and conditions that participants can achieve and sustain for a reasonable time, whereas service adjustments are delivered to help participants achieve goals that are too difficult for them to accomplish currently. Decisions relating to setting program goals and choosing safe and effective responses are based on input from qualified treatment professionals, social service providers, supervision officers, and other team members with pertinent knowledge and experience. Choosing an effective response requires treatment courts to accurately classify program goals according to their difficulty level before considering what responses to deliver for achievements or infractions.

Date: 2024