Building community connections
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Building Community Connections. Excellence and sustainability. Objectives. Understand why broad community engagement is vital to problem-solving court operations. Review strategies for engaging the community in the operation of the drug court.

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Building Community Connections

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Building community connections

Building Community Connections

Excellence and sustainability



  • Understand why broad community engagement is vital to problem-solving court operations.

  • Review strategies for engaging the community in the operation of the drug court.

  • Identify potential resources that may be available to your participants through broader community engagement.

  • Develop a preliminary plan for engaging the community and expanding available resources

What is sustainability

What is Sustainability?

  • Working in a team of two to three and using the scrap paper provided, write a definition of sustainability as it relates to your treatment court.

  • Share your definition with the people around you.

  • Are there common themes?

Key component 10

Key Component #10

Forging partnerships among drug courts, public agencies, and community-based organizations generate local support and enhance drug court program effectiveness.

Problem solving courts need

Problem-Solving Courts Need

  • Participants

  • Talented and committed team members

  • Substance abuse and mental health treatment

  • Drug testing

  • Skill-building classes including parenting

  • Educational and job training

  • Transportation

  • Safe and sober housing

  • Incentives

  • Community service and job placement sites

  • Domestic violence programing

Problem solving courts need1

Problem-Solving Courts Need

  • Medical and dental treatment

  • Sober recreational opportunities

  • Money for staff and programing

  • Court space and court staff

  • Political support

  • Positive press

  • Accurate data collection and reporting

  • Evaluation support

  • Training

Building community connections


Use data to:

  • ensure you are serving the appropriate target population.

  • identify what your court participants and courts need.

  • access services and supports.

  • demonstrate utilization of services.

  • demonstrate efficacy of your program.

  • garner support.

  • get money!

Building community connections

How are you going to ensure that your problem-solving court and court participants get all the resources they need?

Conduct a needs assessment

Conduct a needs assessment

What do your participants and court need?

  • It is available but you are not currently accessing

    • Outreach to partners to find out how your participants can begin accessing

    • Figure out what is “in it for them” to provide the service

  • It is not available and needs to be developed

    • Is there another agency or group which has already conducted/is conducting a needs assessment and identified the same gap?

    • Is there an existing agency that would be interested in developing?

    • Co-develop the request for funds

    • You are supplying the consumers and supervision, they are providing the specialized service



  • State Funding

  • Medicaid and Managed Care

  • Insurance/Affordable Care Act

  • Counties and Municipalities

  • Client fees

  • Establishing a Non-profit Entity



  • State Agency Partners

  • Law Enforcement and Probation

  • Treatment Partners

  • Community Organizations

  • Partnering with non-profits,foundations, service organizations and private business



  • Work with providers to identify areas for cooperative development

  • Identify potential funding partnerships including grant opportunities (especially non court-based grants)

  • Develop pilot projects

Partnership development

Partnership development

  • Quantify their impact on client engagement, progress and outcomes.

  • Recognize the value of providers of services at court graduations and in formal correspondence to head offices.

  • Meet and “check in” regularly with partners.

  • Data sharing.

  • Maintain communication to maintain TRUST.

Partnership development1

Partnership development

  • Develop a vibrant problem-solving court advisory committee

  • Participate in community collaboratives

  • Invite current and potential partner agencies to observe court

  • Develop a group of graduates who are willing and able to present at community meetings

    • Chamber of Commerce

    • Bar Association

    • “Animal” Clubs

    • Women’s groups

Communication strategies

Communication Strategies

  • Build a media strategy and crisis response plan.

  • Build community understanding by inviting the court staff, community leaders and the media to planning sessions, courtroom hearings, graduations, and alumni events .

  • Communication involves not just the message, but the messenger.

  • Communicate research and evaluation results, but also individual stories which powerfully personalize the message.



  • Effective strategies are based on information gathering, education, developing relationships, visibility and credibility.

  • Fundraising tools include brochures, historical documents, clear program mission and vision, and clear evidence of effectiveness.

  • Consider working with a professional fundraiser.

Non profit status

Non-profit status

  • Government agencies are non-profits

  • Partner with an existing non-profit with a complementary mission

  • Problem-solving court association

  • Develop your own non-profit

Receiving gifts

Receiving gifts

  • What can you accept?

  • Under what circumstances can you accept the gift?

  • Who can accept it?

  • How will you receipt it?

  • How will you secure it?

  • How will you track it?

  • How will you distribute it fairly?



  • Maintain good data!!

  • Assess needs

  • Assess existing resources

  • Access broad funding strategies

  • Develop partnerships

  • Develop new resources

  • Track gifts

  • Engage in care and feeding of partnerships

  • Evaluate impact

  • Develop communication strategy

  • Educate everyone

  • Think creatively

What is sustainability1

What is Sustainability?

Your job is to so thoroughly weave your treatment court into the fabric of the community that no one could imagine its elimination.



Kirstin Frescoln

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