NPC News - Special Edition: Drug Courts 
A quarterly update
from NPC Research
Volume 4, Issue 2
Employment Opportunity at NPC: Senior Research Associate 
NPC Research is seeking a full-time Senior Evaluator/ Senior Research Associate. The individual will serve as Principal Investigator by directing the day-to-day operations of multiple evaluation projects across a diverse range of content areas (drug court experience and expertise is highly desirable). S/he will supervise project staff; communicate with clients; manage project task timelines and budgets; oversee all aspects of data collection and management; conduct data analysis; and prepare reports, presentations, and grant applications. A Ph.D. in social sciences, public policy, economics, or a related field is required, as well as at least 5 years' experience managing research or evaluation projects.
Specific tasks will include:
  • Writing grant proposals in response to government, nonprofit, and foundation requests for proposals
  • Developing research design, quantitative and qualitative methodology, and instrumentation
  • Conducting both large and small scale evaluation projects independently, though often overseeing a team
  • Creating and monitoring project task timelines and budgets
  • Preparing data sharing agreements, IRB applications, and other necessary protocols
  • Working with programs and staff to identify data sources, develop data collection instruments, assess data quality, and determine methods for obtaining data
Please see the full announcement here 
2016 NADCP Conference in Anaheim: NPC Highlights
Shannon Carey and
Adrian Johnson of NPC
In early June 2016, more than 5,000 treatment court professionals from the United States and other countries attended the National Association of Drug Court Professionals' 22nd annual training conference. Among the hundreds of sessions were several presentations that included NPC Research staff on topics such as the latest research findings in juvenile drug courts and DWI courts, as well as the innovation and institutionalization of family treatment courts with Children and Family Futures. Other topics included maintaining fidelity to the drug court model, and best practices in evaluation. 
The conference presentations are posted on the NADCP site
. Selected links are also included below:
  1. Monitoring and Evaluation: Using Good Data to Get Good Results
  2. Data, Evaluation and Outcomes: What You Should Collect and Why
  3. How to Implement Research-Based Best Practices in Your DWI Court
  4. How do Reentry Courts Work? Findings from NIJ's Multi-State Research on Reentry Courts 
  5. What's Behind the Curtain? New Research in Juvenile Drug Court Practices 
  6. Fund Raising & Ethical Considerations 
  7. The Family Drug Court Movement: Reaching the Tipping Point from Innovation to Institutionalization 
Creative Partnerships in Drug Courts: San Joaquin County Collaborative Treatment Courts and Humphreys Law School 
San Joaquin County (California) is home to 10 treatment courts, including a Parole Reentry Court, Felony Drug Court, DUI Treatment Court, and a Veteran's Treatment Court. Most recently, San Joaquin County implemented three new treatment courts, supported through California's AB109 funding. NPC Research has collaborated with the San Joaquin County Courts over the years (since 2004) for program evaluation in several of the collaborative courts. NPC staff has had the opportunity to observe a unique partnership between the San Joaquin County collaborative courts and Humphreys College, Laurence Drivon School of Law, located about 5 miles from the San Joaquin Superior Courthouse, in the city of Stockton.
As is the case in many jurisdictions, recruiting team members from busy partner agencies is challenging. The local public defender's office reported that it did not have the resources to send an agency representative to program staff meetings and court hearings and to work with program participants. In 2010, Judge Richard Vlavianos, who presided over several of the collaborative courts and who also taught courses at the Law School, suggested that law students, under the supervision of a practicing defense attorney who was also a law school professor, take on the role of defense on the DUI court team. The students would be allowed to work as part of the DUI court team under the supervision of this professor who was trained in the drug court model and who also worked closely with the DUI court teams. This was put into practice and was expanded over the years into the other collaborative court programs after implementation in the DUI court was determined to be a success. 
For each treatment program, two students and their professor actively participate in all staffing and court sessions. There is a trained backup law school professor to fill in when the primary law school professor cannot be present. The law students speak with participants outside of the courtroom before hearings as appropriate to inform them of upcoming sanctions and to gather needed information. They also accompany participants to the bench who may be too nervous to speak on their own, and they advocate for clients who may be receiving a sanction at that day's hearing. According to the students and other program stakeholders, the law students enjoy the opportunity to learn about the drug court model and to work on a treatment court team. They appreciate the legal experience in the criminal justice system. The treatment courts benefit by having a minimum of three legal experts available for each of their program participants. The collaboration is an innovative solution to a common problem for treatment courts. It also has the added benefit of helping to infuse training on the therapeutic court model into the law school curriculum so new attorneys will see this model as part of the continuum of practices within the justice system. It has been effective at meeting the needs of the court, the program participants, and the law students.
The Four-Track Model: Missouri Drug Courts Implement Tracks According to Participant Risk and Need  
Missouri implemented its first drug court program over 20 years ago. Similar to most other drug courts in the nation, there has been a 'one size fits all' approach to treating participants, which research has now shown can be ineffective at best and harmful at worst. The NADCP's best practice standards (2013, 2015) recommend drug court programs either limit their population to high-risk/high-need individuals, or develop different tracks for participants at different risk and need levels (i.e., follow a risk-need responsivity model). That is, drug courts should assess individuals before intake to determine the appropriate services and supervision level based on their assessment results (e.g., Andrews & Bonta, 2006; Lowenkamp & Latessa, 2005). The State of Missouri has recently made a concerted effort to incorporate the latest research to match offenders to tailored supervision and treatment services, to improve outcomes and more efficiently allocate resources.
Three court programs in Missouri have been at the forefront of addressing the needs of participants at each risk and need level, particularly in adjusting services for those who are not high risk and high need. These programs include the City of St. Louis, Greene County (Springfield) and Jackson County (Kansas City). These jurisdictions have developed multiple tracks for their offenders based on the four "quadrants" of risk and need: high-risk/high-need, high-risk/low-need, low-risk/high-need and low-risk/low-need. The judicial officers and coordinators worked with their teams and community organizations to develop appropriate supervision, treatment and other complementary services for participants within each risk and need quadrant.
NPC is collaborating with the Missouri Office of State Courts Administrator (OSCA) to evaluate the effectiveness of this 4-track model. The evaluation includes a process evaluation that provides a detailed description of the implementation of the model in two sites (reports will be available in September 2016), and an outcome evaluation designed to determine whether the implementation of the four tracks has improved program completion and rearrest rates. The study also includes a cost evaluation to determine the costs associated with implementing the four tracks as well as whether there are cost efficiencies in matching services to participant needs. In addition, NPC has worked with OSCA to create a "how to" manual so that other courts can replicate the 4-track model. The manual is currently under review by six Missouri drug courts that are currently expanding their programs with the 4-track model.
Featured Top 10 Drug Court Best Practice for Cost Savings: A Law Enforcement Representative Attending Court Sessions Leads to Big Savings    
In this ongoing column, we present the Top 10 drug court best practices, one practice at a time, with a brief discussion of each practice. In this issue, we present the #10 practice in the Top 10 best practices for reducing cost. (See the full publication on best practices.)
Drug courts where a law enforcement representative attended court sessions had 64% greater cost savings than courts where law enforcement did not.
Law enforcement can be particularly helpful to the drug court team in providing a unique public safety perspective. Law enforcement can perform home visits and will see participants on the street in their own neighborhoods, which can provide important information to the team and the judge to help them make the most informed decisions about participants' needs.
The law enforcement team member can also act as an ambassador to his or her own department, informing other officers about the drug court model and its effectiveness, assisting in gaining buy-in and support from the department as a whole. In addition, participants can learn to see law enforcement in a new light. Rather than as people who are "out to get them," they can see them as individuals who care about them and want them to do well. It is important that the law enforcement representative on the drug court team has a clear understanding of the therapeutic nature of the drug court model.
Although some drug courts have expressed concern about law enforcement having knowledge gained from staffing that they can use outside of the program, this concern can be addressed in a similar fashion as for the prosecutor. The law enforcement representative must sign an agreement that information learned in staffing must be kept confidential and cannot be used outside its purpose in the drug court setting.