Addressing Racial and Ethnic Disparities in Treatment Courts

New Program Assessment Tool Helps Treatment Courts

Following a number of site visits around the country and in collaboration with experts in the field, our NDCRC team launched a Racial and Ethnic Disparities (RED) Program Assessment Tool to help treatment court professionals identify and examine areas where racial and ethnic disparities may exist in their court programs.

Although research has shown that treatment courts are an effective solution to helping justice-involved individuals, trends show disparities may exist in some treatment court programs when it comes to who has access to the programs (participation), completion rates (graduation), and recidivism outcomes.

Three things to know about the RED Program Assessment Tool:

  • It’s FREE, user-friendly, and uses a secure web-based platform
  • It’s a comprehensive assessment for treatment court programs
  • It provides recommendations to treatment court teams

The secure web-based platform is designed to capture information about treatment courts’ operation and procedures. It assesses treatment court programs through a series of open and closed-ended questions on: court information, intake, assessments, demographics, team members, training, drug choices and treatment/support services, and evaluation and monitoring. 

Using a scoring rubric the RED Program Assessment Tool will also provide treatment court teams with an overall assessment score, scores for each section of the assessment, and recommendations to treatment courts on alleviating racial/ethnic disparities. 

Treatment court teams can participate in the assessment to identify and mitigate racial and ethnic gaps in their programs. 

To learn more and participate to take the RED Program Assessment, contact Justice Programs Office at (202) 885-2875,

To deep dive into this issue, read our issue brief on Racial and Ethnic Disparities (RED) in Treatment Courts