The benefits of telehealth aren’t restricted to the healthcare industry. They’ve been making a positive impact on the justice system, too.

Here’s how this technology is making a difference when it comes to justice-involved individuals in need of substance use treatment.

What is drug court technology?

First of all, what is a drug court, exactly? Drug courts are court docket programs that target defendants, juvenile clients and parents with child welfare cases who have alcohol or drug dependency problems. Providing an alternative to incarceration, these courts serve as supervised treatment programs and aim to help individuals achieve long-term recovery and stay out of the justice system. Often called treatment courts or “problem-solving courts,” drug courts work to address the key problems behind clients with substance abuse problems.

To effectively manage individual cases, drug court teams require data and information spanning between many different communities, from judiciary and probation to social services and treatment. Drug court technology, most often software platforms, are helping to consolidate data, automate workflows, and improve supervision.

What are the advantages of drug court technology?

STREAMLINED OPERATIONS

The breadth of information required to support the day-to-day operation of drug court programs is much greater than that of a normal court. From administering assessments and storing electronic health records to facilitating report generation in a centralized platform.

MORE COMMUNICATION

Treatment providers, supervisors, and the justice-involved individual themselves: These are just some of the drug court team members that need to stay closely connected. When needed, advanced software solutions enables immediate communication between clients through secure messaging or video conferencing.

In addition to facilitating direct communication, drug court software makes it easier for supervision officers and treatment providers to share everything from reminders to assigned readings and educational resources. Plus, clients can easily access all materials since they’re stored in one location.

BETTER OUTCOMES

Keeping justice-involved individuals in treatment and out of jail is already a big step towards improved health and justice outcomes. Leveraging drug court technology makes it even easier as it supports the processes necessary to achieve a program’s goals.

What are the challenges?

AVAILABILITY

Clients may not have access to the hardware necessary to support drug court technology. Ideally, justice organizations should utilize software that is compatible with the widest possible range of devices.

COST

Justice agencies often operate on tight budgets, so they may not be able to obtain enough funding to implement drug court technology across all cases. Beyond purchasing the technology, organizations may need to find additional personnel to manage and support it.

How iTether can help

To successfully navigate the complexities of the justice system, every individual and case management team needs technology that’s aligned with their unique needs, which is why we built a digital platform that is scalable, cost-effective, and designed to adapt to the practices and requirements of any drug court program.