Treatment courts, such as drug courts and veterans treatment courts, transform the justice system’s response to substance use and mental health disorder by offering an evidence-based alternative to incarceration. In addition, they provide access to mentoring, family reunification, peer and recovery support, employment, healthcare, and education.
What is a treatment court?
Do treatment courts work?
Who do treatment courts serve?
FY 2023 Senate Programmatic Request
Help state and local leaders rebuild and increase their capacity to address the substance use disorder crisis, compounded by the COVID-19 pandemic and its lingering ramifications on physical and mental health.
Below you will find NADCP's FY 2023 Senate request along with supporting materials. For questions, please contact NADCP's Legislative Affairs team.
Treatment courts save lives every single day. They employ a holistic approach that goes beyond simply treating substance use disorders. They improve education, employment, housing, and financial stability; promote family reunification; reduce foster care placements; and increase the rate of mothers with substance use disorders delivering fully drug-free babies.
Treatment courts refer more people to treatment than any other intervention in America, and those people are more successful in recovery because they remain in treatment long enough to be successful. The average national completion rate for treatment courts is nearly 60%, approximately two-thirds higher than probation and more than twice the rate of probationers with substance use disorders.
Treatment courts uphold the enduring, absolute value of every human person and embody compassion towards the most vulnerable in our justice system. Reducing the stigma of substance use and mental health disorders has never been more important as our nation battles the opioid epidemic. Leading the way, treatment courts provide access to evidence-based medication-assisted treatment—including buprenorphine, methadone, and naltrexone—to tens of thousands of Americans each year.
Not only are treatment courts effective and humane, they save considerable money for taxpayers. Treatment courts produce benefits of $6,208 per participant, returning up to $27 for every $1 invested.
Treatment courts introduced humanity in a system that has relied on inhumane tactics for far too long, thereby changing our national perspective on what it means to serve justice. The principles of treatment courts have given rise to other incarceration alternatives, diversion programs, and sentencing reforms. In this way, they are the foundation of the current justice system reform movement in the US.
Treatment Courts Set the Standard
NADCP’s “Adult Drug Court Best Practice Standards” are the blueprint on which successful adult drug courts are built. Rooted in more than 25 years of empirical study of addiction, pharmacology, behavioral health, and criminal justice, the standards address the most critical aspects of adult drug court and provide an evidence-based guide for how programs should operate to ensure success.
Treatment Courts and Medication for Opioid Use Disorder
Treatment court participants are far more likely to receive medication to treat addiction while in the program than through traditional probation or treatment, giving a vulnerable population critical access to lifesaving medications as the country fights an ongoing opioid epidemic.