Headlines archive


Report outlines performance measures to ensure drug courts are effective

Madison, Wisconsin - April 8, 2016

The National Center for State Courts (NCSC) has developed a comprehensive report establishing 17 areas of measurement that will help ensure drug treatment courts in Wisconsin are performing effectively and efficiently.

The report, entitled “Wisconsin Statewide Drug and Hybrid Court Performance Measures: A Foundation for Performance Management,” is the result of a collaboration between NCSC, the Director of State Courts Office, and an advisory group consisting of judges, county drug treatment program coordinators, and staff from the state court system, the state Department of Justice (DOJ), and the state Department of Corrections.

Wisconsin counties that run treatment court programs will use the report as a guideline for collecting relevant data to evaluate performance in a variety of areas, including, among other things: sobriety; recidivism; restitution; drug-testing, screening, and assessment; supervision; and employment and education.

There are currently about 70 problem-solving courts operating in Wisconsin. The state DOJ is establishing the database for use by counties to gather information. The NCSC report sets targets to provide a point of comparison to help drug court managers assess areas of a program performing well and areas that may be in need of improvement. The performance measures are intended to help provide feedback for making continuous improvement in a treatment court program.

NCSC notes in the introduction to the report that measuring the performance of drug courts is compelling because they must compete with other priorities of the criminal justice system for a finite amount of resources.

“This makes it incumbent upon drug courts to demonstrate that the limited resources provided to them are used efficiently, and that this expenditure of resources produces the desired outcomes in participants,” part of the introduction reads.

Training sessions on the performance measures have been held at six locations throughout the state. Materials from the sessions are available online. The development of the report was funded under a grant to the Director of State Courts from the U.S. Bureau of Justice Assistance. The training sessions were funded under a grant to DOJ from the U.S Bureau of Justice Assistance.

Tom Sheehan
Court Information Officer
(608) 261-6640

Back to headlines archive 2016