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Home Courts By County El Paso County Problem Solving Court
Home Courts By County El Paso County Problem Solving Court
Problem Solving Court
Team and Community Collaboration

Problem-solving courts utilize an integrated, team-based system that holds participants accountable and supports them in their recovery, which is different from the traditional standard supervision and treatment.  Problem-solving courts are special court dockets.  Participants engage voluntarily and agree to follow the rules of the program.  They are closely supervised by probation officers and/or case managers, tested for drugs and/or alcohol frequently and randomly, subjected to frequent home and probation office and/or case manager visits, engaged in enhanced or intensive drug treatment as well as other treatment necessary to achieve their goals, assisted in their compliance with efforts to achieve stability, and required to come to court on at least a bi-weekly basis (although this will vary as the participant progresses in the program).

The problem-solving court team meets before each court docket to discuss those who will be appearing on the docket.  Ideally, the team includes the judicial officer, the probation officer, a deputy district attorney a deputy public defender, substance abuse and mental health treatment providers, case manager, the court coordinator, and any other people essential to the operation of the court (i.e. Department of Human Services, Guardian ad Litem, Child Support Enforcement agency, School District, Military Installations, etc.).  Prior to and during these team staffing meetings, information is exchanged regarding each person on the docket, and the team discusses the participant’s compliance, successes, challenges, and other life circumstances that affect the participant’s progress.  Team members work together to fashion a collaborative response to the participant’s compliant or non-compliant behavior.  During the court session, participants receive incentives or sanctions based upon their behaviors and conduct during the previous two to four weeks.

The effectiveness of the treatment court is dependent upon the quality and quantity of information shared by the team, the quality of treatment, the commitment and dedication of the team, the frequent contact with a compassionate yet firm judicial officer, the frequent and random use of drug and alcohol testing, and the effective use of incentives and sanctions.  City and Community collaboration to provide ancillary services such as housing, employment training and assistance, and financial assistance are also important for positive outcomes.

 

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