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Problem Solving Courts

Problem Solving Courts have the long-term goals of 1) enhancing public safety, 2) ensuring participant accountability, and 3) reducing costs to society In 2010, OJP awarded $500,000 to a district-wide coordinator for the 5th judicial district drug courts; the Clay County multi-county drug court and; five multi-county Family Dependency Treatment Courts (FDTC).

All funded projects must demonstrate the commitment of key partners, comply with the state drug court and FDTC standards, and commit to consistent data collection and evaluation. Judicial District adult drug courts served more than 100 clients in 10 rural counties. The Clay-Becker multi-county drug court in the Judicial District served 48 clients with 17 graduates and 8 terminations. One graduate has been charged with a new crime and local analyses show significant jail and prison savings for drug court clients.

The FDTCs are supported by interagency teams that provide for chemical dependency treatment and comprehensive case management to addicted parents involved in the child protection system. In 2010, 79 participants received services, 38 new participants were admitted, 13 graduated and 15 were terminated. All FTDC participants have an open Children in Need of Protective Services (CHIPs) petition, have completed a rule 25 chemical dependency assessment indicating the need of treatment, and more than 60 percent also have a mental health diagnosis. All graduates have completed chemical dependency treatment and are engaged in community-based recovery support activities.

Additional FDTC outcome measures tracked include:

  • Client’s children in out-of-home placement
  • Clients receiving in-home family therapy
  • Clients participating in parenting classes
  • Education level of clients
  • Housing situation of clients
  • Employment of clients
  • Parents reunified with children
  • Children returned to home
  • Average days in out-of –home placement
  • Drug and alcohol tests administered
  • Positive drug and alcohol tests
  • New CHIPs petitions filed

A survey of 34 FDTC team members conducted by SCAO in 2009 found that 91 percent agreed that FDTC services are better at promoting positive results for participants than traditional court services. They also noted that FDTCs connect participants with quality treatment services and that the relationship with the judge promotes participants’ success. Team member surveys are conducted annually and compared to previous responses.

5th Judicial District
District-wide coordination & training 4 adult drug and DWI courts
7th Judicial District
 Case management and surveillance services in Clay & Becker Counties
5th Judicial District
FDTC Coordination, case management & defense counsel for 2  FDTC
 6th Judicial District
FDTC Coordination, treatment services and defense counsel 
7th Judicial District
Coordination and case management for an FDTC in Fergus Falls
7th Judicial District
Case management and surveillance for an FDTC in St. Cloud.
9th Judicial District
FDTC Coordination, case management and parent attorney in Koochiching County
 Dakota County
An FDTC Recovery Specialist for an FDTC
White Earth Tribal Court
An FDTC Case manager & Tribal recovery support services.


For more information contact:

Kristin Lail -651-201-7322
Office of Justice Programs

Minnesota Drug Courts Program
State Court Administrator's Office

National Drug Court Institute

Office of National Drug Control Policy

U.S. Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Assistance

Family Drug Courts
Children and Family Futures

Justice and Mental Health  Collaboration Programs
Council on State Governments, Justice Center

Problem Solving Courts
Center for Court Innovation

Drug Court Reseach