California collaborative justice courts are encouraged to look to the nationally accepted guidelines from the National Association of Drug Court Professionals (NADCP) Defining Drug Courts: The Key Components, which elaborate on drug courts’ purpose and performance measurements.
The guidelines include the following:
- Drug courts integrate alcohol and other drug-treatment services with justice system processing.
- Using a non-adversarial approach, prosecution and defense counsel promote public safety while protecting participants’ due process rights.
- Eligible participants are identified early and promptly placed in the drug court program.
- Drug courts provide access to a continuum of alcohol, drug, and other related treatment and rehabilitation services.
- Abstinence and use of alcohol and other drugs are monitored by frequent drug testing.
- A coordinated strategy governs drug court responses to participants’ compliance.
- Ongoing judicial interaction with each drug court participant is essential.
- Monitoring and evaluation measure the achievement of program goals and gauge effectiveness.
- Effective drug court operations require continuing interdisciplinary education.
- Forging partnerships among drug courts, public agencies, and community-based organizations increases the availability of treatment services, enhances drug court effectiveness, and generates local support.