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Five Minutes After: Technology Supporting the Work of Treatment Courts

Updated: Oct 17, 2023

Substance use disorder is a common disease in society today, from alcohol to drug use. The percentage increases when you look at the court system. From a recent study: “Individuals involved in the criminal justice (CJ) system are disproportionately impacted by substance use, with estimates of substance use dependence [(SUD)] or abuse among correctional populations ranging from 58 to 63% for individuals incarcerated in prisons and jails, respectively, as well as those on probation and/or parole. Many become incarcerated instead of receiving the necessary treatment, leading to a cycle of recidivism, and wasted resources.” Treatment courts are an important part of breaking this cycle and offering successful interventions to move people towards a path of recovery and stability instead of the revolving door of the justice system.


Treatment courts supervise individuals with complex personal challenges that require supervision and collaboration from a number of community partners including court personnel, law enforcement, and treatment providers, among others. The treatment court process typically involves a series of steps designed to help individuals address the underlying issues that landed them in court, including assessments, compliance progress, and more.


Storing information on individual computers and communicating information manually through phone calls and emails results in miscommunication and failure to share essential information in a timely manner. Case management solutions help reduce manual processes, track participant progress, and manage cases more effectively. These solutions allow the courts and program providers to spend less time entering and managing data and more time helping people through the court and rehabilitation process.


What Are Treatment Courts? Treatment courts, also known as problem-solving courts, are specialized judicial programs that address the underlying issues of individuals with SUD or Mental Health Disorders (MHD) who have come before a judge after an incident occurred. Instead of punishment, the focus is on treatment, rehabilitation, and support to help individuals achieve long-term recovery and reduce the risk of recidivism. There are various types of treatment courts including:

  • Drug Courts

  • Mental Health Courts

  • Veterans Courts

  • DUI Courts

  • Homeless Courts

  • Family Treatment Courts

  • Juvenile Courts

These courts provide tailored services to address the specific needs of individuals with different types of disorders.

The Success of Treatment Courts According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, Treatment Courts are 1.5 to 2 times more effective in reducing recidivism compared to traditional court systems. Moreover, treatment courts have been found to save money by reducing the costs of incarceration and criminal justice processing. These programs also improve public safety by reducing crime rates and promoting community reintegration. The National Association of Drug Court Professionals notes that “treatment courts prove that providing supervision, structure and evidence-based treatment was a far more successful approach to substance use and mental health disorders than incarceration alone.”

Treatment courts not only improve the lives of individuals, but also have a positive impact on society. These programs have been found to reduce the costs of healthcare, social services, and public assistance, as well as increase the productivity and stability of individuals in recovery.


Purpose-Built Solutions for Treatment Courts Treatment courts generate a large amount of paperwork and data that must be managed and tracked throughout the course of the program. This includes participant demographics, court appearances, treatment appointments, and progress notes, among other things. In the past, this information was typically tracked manually using paper files, which could be time-consuming and prone to errors.

Case management technology can help you manage case information in a centralized location, allowing for easy access and collaboration among stakeholders. Automating manual processes, such as tracking participant progress, reduces the administrative burden on court staff and allows them to focus more on providing support and guidance to participants.

Case management solutions:

  • Simplify data collection and analysis with easy imports that reduces errors

  • Streamline workflows with auto-fill form capabilities

  • Improve reporting processes for key insights and grant applications

  • Increase program graduations and reduce recidivism

The access to real-time data on participant progress, treatment outcomes, and court appearances enables you to identify areas where participants may need additional support and adjust their treatment plans accordingly. Additionally, you can use this data to evaluate your program's effectiveness and make data-driven decisions to improve your outcomes.

Conclusion

Treatment courts provide a valuable service to individuals and the community by providing support to those who need it most. Managing all the moving parts of judicial proceedings and recovery programs doesn’t need to be a struggle. A comprehensive case management program centralizes the information in one place for better accuracy, collaboration, and updates. Efficient and effective operations let you, your team, and others involved in the process dedicate more time to creating better outcomes.


Our platform was inspired by the challenges that courts face in managing their workflows and information. We have designed our solutions to help optimize your processes, improve collaboration among team members, and ensure accurate information sharing. With FivePoint Solutions, you can streamline your operations, increase productivity, and deliver better outcomes for your clients. Our commitment is to empower courts with the technology and support they need to succeed. If you're looking to modernize your operations, we're here to help you achieve your goals more efficiently and effectively. Learn more about CaseWorX for Treatment Courts.

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