Roger H. Peters
"This monograph examines a wide range of evidence-based practices for screening and assessment of people in the justice system who have co-occurring mental and substance use disorders (CODs). Use of evidence-based approaches for screening and assessment is likely to result in more accurate matching of offenders to treatment services and more effective treatment and supervision outcomes … Key systemic and clinical challenges are discussed, as well as state-of-the art approaches for conducting screening and assessment. The monograph also reviews a range of selected instruments for screening, assessment, and diagnosis of CODs in justice settings and provides a critical analysis of advantages, concerns, and practical implementation issues (e.g., cost, availability, training needs) for each instrument" (p. 1). Two parts follow an executive summary. Part I-- Key Issues in Screening and Assessment of Co-occurring Disorders in the Justice System: prevalence and significance of co-occurring disorders in the justice system; defining co-occurring disorders; importance of screening and assessment; opportunities for screening and assessment; defining screening and assessment; developing a comprehensive screening and assessment approach; key information to address in screening and assessment for co-occurring disorders; enhancing the accuracy of information in screening and assessment; and special clinical issues. Part II—Instruments for Screening and Assessing Co-occurring disorders: key issues in selection; comparing screening instruments; recommended instruments for assessment and diagnosis of co-occurring disorders—screening instruments for substance use, screening instruments for mental disorders, screening instruments for co-occurring mental and substance abuse disorders, screening and assessment instruments for suicide risk, screening and diagnostic instruments for trauma and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), screening instruments for motivation and readiness for treatment, assessment instruments for substance use and treatment matching approaches, assessment instruments for mental disorders, and assessment and diagnostic instruments for co-occurring mental and substance use disorders.
“One of the biggest challenges for drug courts is effectively working with participants with co-occurring disorders. By definition, persons with the dual diagnosis of both substance use disorders and mental illnesses have co-occurring disorders … every adult drug court can achieve positive outcomes for persons with co-occurring disorders—if the court is committed to doing so. With some creativity and thoughtful planning, most persons with co-occurring disorders can successfully participate in drug courts” (p. 1). This publication explains very clearly how to ensure this by utilizing six critical steps. Topics covered include: three treatment court models; the need for flexibility; overlapping populations; step 1—know who your participants are and what they need by using the quadrant model, screening, and assessment; step 2—adapt your court structure; step 3--expand your treatment options; step 4--target your case management and community supervision; step 5—expand mechanisms for collaboration; and step 6—educate your team.