Ten Key Components

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:

  1. Drug courts integrate alcohol and other drug-treatment services with justice system processing.
  2. Using a non-adversarial approach, prosecution and defense counsel promote public safety while protecting participants’ due process rights.
  3. Eligible participants are identified early and promptly placed in the drug court program.
  4. Drug courts provide access to a continuum of alcohol, drug, and other related treatment and rehabilitation services.
  5. Abstinence and use of alcohol and other drugs are monitored by frequent drug testing.
  6. A coordinated strategy governs drug court responses to participants’ compliance.
  7. Ongoing judicial interaction with each drug court participant is essential.
  8. Monitoring and evaluation measure the achievement of program goals and gauge effectiveness.
  9. Effective drug court operations require continuing interdisciplinary education.
  10. 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.