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Rural Drug Courts: Challenges and Solutions

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The focus of this webinar is upon the special challenges encountered by drug courts and their treatment providers in rural and frontier areas of the country and responses that have proven affective. This webinar also drew on a Technical Assistance Guide on Drug Court Treatment Services developed through the BJA Drug Court Technical Assistance Project (soon to be published). Presenters provided a detailed look into each of these challenges and how some of the existing rural programs are addressing some of these issues through use of innovative use of technology such as Skype or Teleconferencing, Virtual Counseling, Telehealth services etc. Presenters highlight ten common challenges rural Drug Court programs encounter, followed by discussion on some possible solutions that will improve service delivery in rural parts of the country: 1. Lack of treatment capacity, lack of access to a full continuum of treatment services and inconsistency of treatment services 2. Lack of access to adequate wrap around services for drug court participants (employment services, vocational rehabilitation services, medical and dental services, daycare, etc.) 3. Lack of alcohol and drug free housing for drug court participants 4. Lack of transportation for drug court participants who are unable to get to treatment and/or meetings, work, and/or school 5. Inability of drug court treatment provider to find and hire qualified staff and avoid excessive turnover 6. Resources for addressing family drug use that is prevalent for many drug court participants 7. Inability of the drug court judges and/or drug court team members to cover expansive geographic rural area in order to hold the frequent status hearings necessary to adequately monitor program participation 8. Assuring confidentiality of information regarding drug court participants' involvement in treatment, mutual aid attendance (AA, NA, meetings) and other treatment related activities in a rural setting) 9. Providing adequate training for drug court team members; and 10. Conducting random alcohol and other drug testing at a reasonable cost that conforms with evidence based practices Additional accessibility options for this video are available upon request. Email justice@american.edu or call 202-885-2875.
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