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Ensuring Sustainability for Drug Courts: An Overview of Funding Strategies

NCJ Number
Dennis A. Reilly Esq.; Atoundra Pierre-Lawson Esq.
Date Published
April 2008
118 pages
In presenting examples of creative strategies developed around the country for sustaining the operation of drug courts, this monograph focuses primarily on the monetary aspect of drug courts' sustainability and, to a lesser extent, the need for capacity building, education efforts, and leadership development.
Part One examines sustainability strategies used at the State level, starting with a general description of the sustainability strategy, followed by specific examples. Part Two discusses sustainability strategies used at the local level, again offering a general description of the strategy, followed by specific examples. The funding strategies presented indicate drug courts must continue to exercise creativity and flexibility in securing funding sources over the lifetime of the program. Many drug courts begin with initial seed money from Federal grants; however, from the outset, there must be planning to sustain the drug court program beyond grant funding. Initial grants can fund a drug court program over a period of time during which the drug court can demonstrate positive results and show a cost-effective impact on the community. The examples provided show that hundreds of drug courts have moved beyond the initial seed money of Federal funding to mobilize State and local resources. Although tapping into State and local resources may involve more complex stakeholder negotiations, these efforts are more likely to ensure the ongoing stable operation of a drug court. These efforts to maintain and increase funding for drug courts are most effective when they involve work by an interdisciplinary team of stakeholders. Part Three explores aspects of sustainability apart from monetary considerations. The strategies described address capacity-building, pilot programs, community education, and team training. Part Four presents comprehensive sustainability strategies. These comprehensive strategies demonstrate how courts have used multiple methods for ensuring sustainability and creating effective programs with a myriad of resources. 12 references and appended index of strategies for sustaining ancillary services, a list of Drug Court Planning Initiative participants, and a list of OJP (Office of Justice Program) Drug Court Discretionary Grant Program grantees