The Washington State Problem Solving Court Strategic Planning Survey

Aug 2011 |
Online Library

In Spring 2011, the Department of Social and Health Services’ Division of Behavioral Health and Recovery conducted a survey of 59 problem solving courts that address problems of substance abuse and dependency in communities across the state of Washington. This presentation highlights the results based on responses from 35 of the courts. The survey gathered information on drug court policies and procedures and the perceptions of drug court administrators, judges and their staff concerning the potential benefits of uniform policies and practices, the degree of local and state collaboration with drug courts, and desirable components of a statewide strategic plan to help promote the sustainability of problem solving courts. The survey documented that most of the drug courts work with adult felony drug offenders who are chemically dependent at the time of admission. Nearly all of the courts reported that they conduct random drug tests, followed by court sanctions for infractions. Support for drug courts was perceived to be more common at the local level than at the state as evidenced by strong collaboration and coordination between the courts and local agencies and organizations. Two themes surfaced frequently: the need for a statewide training strategy for court professionals and the need to communicate problem-solving court effectiveness to the general public.

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