CCI: Drug Court Teleservices Pilot Projects Call for Letters of Interest
The Bureau of Justice Assistance and the Center for Court Innovation (the “Center”) are partnering to support innovative uses of technology in drug courts, including Tribal Healing to Wellness Courts, co-occurring disorder courts, and veterans treatment courts. Three pilot sites will be selected to receive training and technical assistance in the planning, implementation, and evaluation of technology initiatives. This Call for Letters describes the initiative and provides instructions for jurisdictions seeking to become a pilot site.
Technological innovations in criminal justice, health care, and education are beginning to transform the way drug courts work. Research is confirming the effectiveness of a range of approaches that rely on both new and established technologies for enhancing drug court operations in three main categories: the delivery of treatment and other supportive services; compliance monitoring and supervision; and training and professional development for practitioners. Examples of teleservices in drug courts include using smartphone apps to provide recovery support, delivering evidence-based treatment interventions over the web, and conducting court or staffing sessions by video. Many other examples and practical information about teleservices can be found in the Center’s recent publication, “The Future is Now: Enhancing Drug Court Operations Through Technology.”
The Center will select up to three pilot sites to receive training and technical assistance in the planning, implementation, and evaluation of a new technology enhancement. Center staff may help pilot sites engage in strategic planning for technology enhancements, select specific technology solutions, coordinate training in the use of selected technology, provide operational support, develop data collection protocols and performance measures, and assess project success.
A pilot site may consist of: (a) a single drug court, Healing to Wellness Court, co-occurring disorder court, or veterans treatment court; (b) a group of courts linked by geography or administrative structure; or (c) a statewide system of courts. The Center encourages collaborations between related courts, especially between state drug courts and Tribal Healing to Wellness Courts.
Selected projects must be related to the delivery of treatment or other supportive services, compliance monitoring, staff training, or a combination of these. Center staff will provide training and technical assistance throughout the planning and implementation of the initiative. The Center will also help pilot sites develop performance measures and data collection procedures to track key performance indicators and evaluate the success of their projects.
Pilot sites must commit to making all relevant personnel available for an onsite planning visit by Center staff in early 2016. Following the initial visit, pilot sites can expect regularly scheduled phone calls and further onsite assistance from Center staff if necessary.
At the conclusion of the pilot phase, the Center will produce a publication outlining lessons learned from the pilot project, as well as recommendations for future teleservices initiatives. Pilot sites will feature prominently in this publication, and it is anticipated that they will serve as national models for other problem solving courts seeking to implement teleservices. In addition, pilot sites will have the opportunity to present about their experiences at a national conference.
Pilot sites will not receive direct financial assistance and must be in a position to fund all aspects of the teleservices initiatives other than training and technical assistance, including staff time, physical space, and equipment costs, where applicable. However, it is not a requirement that applicants have access to a large amount of funding—many types of teleservices projects can be accomplished using existing technology and infrastructure. Applicants are encouraged to think creatively about what type of project they can implement within the confines of their available resources.
The anticipated timeline for this project is January-September 2016.
Letters of interest will be evaluated by Center staff in collaboration with the Bureau of Justice Assistance and a committee of expert practitioners. Up to three pilot sites will be selected. Applicants will be evaluated based on the following criteria:
1. Clearly identified problem or issue to be addressed by the teleservices initiative.
2. Innovative nature of the proposed teleservices initiative.
3. Demonstrated commitment of staff time and funding to support the initiative.
4. Anticipated impact of the project on drug court participants and teams.
5. Demonstrated support of partner agencies.
Applicants are also encouraged to demonstrate the support of their statewide drug court/problemsolving court coordinator whenever possible. This support can help promote the long-term sustainability and possible replication of pilot projects and ensure that pilot projects are consistent with the overall state strategy for problem-solving courts.
Pilot sites must submit a letter of interest using the attached template. Letters should be sent to Annie Schachar at firstname.lastname@example.org, with the subject line: Teleservices Initiative Pilot Site Application. Applications must be received by November 13th , 2015. For questions about this application process, please email Ms. Schachar.