Research 2 Practice

Translating Research into Practice for Drug Courts

Adult Drug Court Research to Practice (R2P) Initiative was a cooperative agreement awarded to the National Center for State Courts with the School of Public Affairs at American University. It was co-funded by the Bureau of Justice Assistance and the National Institute of Justice, Office of Justice Programs, U.S. Department of Justice. R2P reviewed rigorous research from a variety of fields, including addiction science, substance use disorder treatment, and criminal justice, and subsequently developed trainings and resources for the drug court field. This project is no longer actively funded but the products of the project have been archived here.

Appropriate Target Population


Drug courts are a relatively scarce and expensive resource that should be used judiciously. Given this fact, who should go to a drug court and who should not? Should all drug offenders go to a drug court? If not, how should the cases of offenders who don't go to the drug court be handled? What factors should influence the selection of a target population for a particular drug court? A webinar is planned to discuss these and other related questions using the most current research available.

The Role of Medication

white pills spilling from vial onto drug information sheet

Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT) entails the use of medications, along with counseling and behavioral therapies, to provide a whole-patient approach to the treatment of substance use disorders. This module aims to provide drug courts with information about the nature of the disease of addiction and how MAT can be used to improve drug court outcomes.

Effective Substance Abuse Treatment


While an essential premise underlying the 10 Key Components of Adult Drug Courts, the elements constituting effective substance abuse treatment are not widely understood by many drug court practitioners, regardless of their professional discipline. This module provides a framework for drug court practitioners to assess the degree to which their treatment components reflect these elements and research on effective behavioral interventions. Below is a recorded webinar from November 2, 2011 hosted by Caroline Cooper, Roger H. Peters, Ph.D., and Judge Stephen V. Manley, the accompanying PowerPoint slides, and resource materials specific to the webinar.

Drug Court Cost-Efficiency Analysis: Methods and Findings


Want to learn more about: what is cost efficiency analysis, how should drug court costs be calculated; what benefits are associated with drug court and what are their dollar values; how should costs and benefits be compared; what do we know about the cost efficiency of adult drug courts and how can drug courts use the results of cost efficiency analyses effectively? Over the next hour, you will hear from a distinguished panel of experts as they outline each of these questions, provide snapshots of the research to answer these questions, and provide you with the necessary tools to improve your adult drug court program.

Aftercare and Relapse Prevention


As noted in the 10 Key Components of Adult Drug Courts, drug courts should accept that participants will on occasion relapse to substance abuse during the course of their participation, particularly if they are clinically diagnosed as substance dependent or addicted. This module will address issues on relapse prevention.

Seven Program Design Features


The Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA) and the National Institute of Justice (NIJ) have identified seven evidence-based program design features that effective drug courts should utilize. Beginning in 2011, BJA began evaluation drug court grant funding application using these seven design features as criteria.