Criminal Justice

Nowhere is the epidemic of substance use/addiction more apparent than in our criminal justice systems where approximately two-thirds of the people incarcerated in American (federal and state) prisons meet criteria for substance abuse or dependence.

TRI recognizes that local governments cannot sacrifice the safety of the public but that without treatment, “drug-involved offenders” will recidivate, further draining scarce local, state and federal criminal justice resources. TRI further understands that “one size does not fit all,” that public policy responses to this very serious problem need to reflect the unique nature of the issues and problems that confront each drug-involved offender.

TRI is recognized for its innovative and systematic line of research on model diversion programs and other interventions and policies involving the intersection of drugs and crime. TRI scientists were among the first in the nation to experimentally examine the key elements of drug courts, DUI courts and other problem-solving courts designed to improve public health through treatment for underlying substance use disorders, without compromising public safety. Findings emanating from this research have led to novel strategies for reducing substance abuse and criminal recidivism among criminal justice populations.

In addition to the research it conducts and disseminates, TRI supports policy makers in criminal justice seeking to reverse this trend. TRI also supports the individuals who professionally deal with drug-involved offenders through its science-based helping tools:

Risk and Needs Triage  (RANT™ and RANT-Plus™): this software program helps problem-solving court managers, including judges, assign drug-involved offenders to the community-based program best matched to their assessed need for supervision and clinical care. Two versions are available.

TRI-Court Evaluation Program (TRI-CEP™): also technology enabled, this is a tool to help problem-solving court managers evaluate (and hopefully improve) their operations. Features of the tool also promote adaptive management (treatment) of substance abusing offenders.