Professional Fields

Drug Courts

Specialty courts call jurists and legal professionals to be solution-builders. This is an extremely different role for law & courts. It’s easy to understand why judges, lawyers and probation staff might want to turn over the “why” of problem behavior and the “how” of positive behavior change to someone else.

Treatment courts call for the practice of law (and the act of dispensing justice) to be efforts that are therapeutic by design.  Specialty courts, aimed at specific societal problems (i.e., homelessness, poor parenting, mental illness, addictions, substance abuse, etc.) bring the power of our court systems together with the competencies of our treatment fields to form a potent combination.

Our Director, Michael D. Clark, was involved in some of the earliest federal training curriculums for juvenile drug courts beginning in 1998-1999 through the Drug Courts Program Office (DCPO) as facilitated by the National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges (NCJFCJ). He has worked with adult treatment courts as well as several other types of specialty courts.

Too often, the treatment courts, initially designed to serve therapeutic ends will often experience “treatment drift”—that is, left to its own, specialty courts will revert back to the status quo of consequences and sanctions to impel behavior.

The CSBS has been active in developing and offering 1 and 2 day training programs/treatment court retreats called “Treatment Court Tune Ups” to bring the therapeutic approach back to specialty courts. Contact us for a prospectus on this training resource.

Topics for “Treatment Court Tune-Up” Training

Drug Courts | Reentry Courts | Family Treatment Courts | Problem-Solving Courts | Juvenile Drug Courts | Sobriety Courts | Specialty Courts  

Use this first page to submit your pre-training preferences. Please check four modules you’d like to see presented to your team so the top picks can be included in the two-day curriculum. Although several of these modules will be preselected for your upcoming two day treatment court “tune-up” – it would be helpful to know what you’d be interested in. Fax or email this page back to Center for Strength-Based Strategies at the number / address listed below.

  Assessing Team Effectiveness 

□ Internal or External Control Across Your Team 

□ Perceived Influence of Team Members 

Participation Checklist – Who’s on Board with Treatment Team and Program Participants 

 Attitudes towards Leadership – Confidential Assessment with Post-Training Feedback 

 Examining Your Treatment Court Process – “Issues for Review from A to Z”: Mission Statements  and Targeting to Graduation and After-Care 

 Strength-based Practice: Increasing Resources and Family Engagement  (avoiding the “Treatment Court Drift” back towards punishment) 

 How to Learn Just Enough About the Strengths Approach to be Dangerous: Moving to Concrete  Applications

 Differences in the Development of Adolescents / Young Adult Parents: Reasoning, Emotions and Risk-taking 

 Motivational Interviewing and Examining Resistance: Increasing the Readiness for Treatment 

 Stages of Change: How People Change / Why People Change  

 Personality and Temperament: Understanding How Personality Styles Motivate Treatment Court  Team   Members and Program Participants 


Drug Court Resources for your review:

(Unpublished Manuscript – Under review Bureau of Justice) Nissen. Laura & Clark, Michael D. “Power of the Strengths Approach in the Juvenile Drug Court.”  Practice Monograph. Drug Court Programs Office – United States Bureau of Justice (BOJ)

(June 2007) Walters, Scott T., Clark, Michael D., Gingerich, Ray & Meltzer, Melissa, “Motivating Offenders To Change: A Guide for Probation & Parole Officers” Practice Monograph, National Institute of Corrections (NIC) – US Department of Justice.

(Fall 2005). “Are Clients, not Treatment Methods, the Key to Creating Lasting Behavior Change?” ATTC Networker – Addiction Technology & Transfer Center National Office. Vol. 7 (2). 10-15.
Click here to download the full article

(August 2005) Motivational Interviewing and Mandated Interventions: Tempest in a Teapot? MINT Bulletin. Vol. 12(2) 30-31. Special Section/Virtual Symposium—Motivational Interviewing Network of Trainers. (2003)
Click here to download the full article

Two articles for Judges

In Bruce Winick & David Wexler (Eds.) Judging in a Therapeutic Key: Therapeutic Jurisprudence and the Courts. Carolina Adademic Press:  Durham, NC

  • “A Changed-Focused Approach for Judges”  (pp. 137-147)                                                 
    Click here to download the full article
  • “Ascertaining and Encouraging Change” (pp.  179-181)                                                   
    Click here to download the full article

An article for Juvenile Drug Court Judges and Lawyers 

(Fall 2000) “The Juvenile Drug Court Judge and Lawyer: Four Common Mistakes in Treating the Drug Court Adolescent.”  Juvenile and Family Court Journal, 51(4), 37-46.                                         
Click here to download the full article

(Winter 2002) "Change-Focused Drug Courts: Examining the Critical Ingredients of Positive Behavior Change." National Drug Court Institute Review. Vol 3(2), pps. 35-7.        
Contact our Center to request a full PDF copy to be sent via email attachment


(June 2001) “Influencing Positive Behavior Change: Increasing the Therapeutic Approach of Juvenile Courts” Federal Probation Quarterly, 65(1), 18-27.                                             
Click here to download the full article

(June 1988) "Strength-Based Practice: The ABC's of Working With Adolescents Who Don't Want To Work With You" Federal Probation Quarterly, (62)1, 46-53.                                   
 Click here to download the full article


(May, 15, 2001) Clark, Michael D., "Common Factors Research" Addiction Exchange, Electronic Journal of the Mid-Atlantic Addiction Technology Transfer Center, Richmond, Virginia [http://mid-attc.org/addex/addex2_8.htm]
Click here to download the full article  


Mr. Clark has served as a contractual faculty member for the Bureau of Justice, Drug Courts Program Office (DCPO). With over 30 articles, Michael is author to:

(2009) Clark, Michael D., The Strengths Perspective in Criminal Justice. In D. Saleebey (ed.) Fifth Edition (2009). The Strengths Perspective in Social Work Practice. New York: Longman

(Summer 2008) Clark, Michael D., "Moving From Compliance To Behavior Change: Motivational Interviewing and the Juvenile Court." Juvenile and Family Justice Today, National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges. Vol. 17 (3), 22-23.

(June 2007) Walters, Scott T., Clark, Michael D., Gingerich, Ray & Meltzer, Melissa, "Motivating Offenders To Change: A Guide for Probation & Parole Officers" Practice Monograph, National Institute of Corrections (NIC) – US Department of Justice. (NIC Accession number 022253) (2003) (2 articles) "A Changed-Focused Approach for Judges" Pp. 137-147 & "Ascertaining and Encouraging Change" Pp. 179-181 In Judging in a Therapeutic Key: Therapeutic Jurisprudence and the Courts

(Winter 2002) "Change-Focused Drug Courts: Examining the Critical Ingredients of Positive Behavior Change." National Drug Court Institute Review

(Fall 2000) "The Juvenile Drug Court Judge and Lawyer: Four Common Mistakes in Treating the Drug Court Adolescent." Juvenile and Family Court Journal

Contractual Training, Keynote Presentations and Technical Assistance provided to (selected listing):

  • Puerto Rico Addiction Technology & Transfer Center. San Juan, Puerto Rico
  • US Department of State (Mediterranean Section) - United States Embassy - Malta
  • US Dept. of Health & Human Services (DHHS)
  • US Dept. of Justice – (DOJ)
  • Center for Substance Abuse Treatment (CSAT)
  • Substance Abuse & Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA)
  • California Center for Judicial Education and Research
  • American Probation & Parole Association (APPA) - (Featured Training Program)
  • 2002 Pacific Drug Court Conference – Superior Court of Guam, Agana, Guam
  • American Correctional Association (ACA)
  • Correctional Services of Canada - Kingston, Ontario Canada
  • National Association of Treatment Court Professionals (NADCP)
  • Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP)
  • Virginia Drug Court Association
  • New Mexico Association of Drug Court Professionals
  • Louisiana Association of Drug Court Association
  • University of Missouri-Kansas City, Addiction Technology Transfer Center (ATTC) 
  • National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges - (NCJFCJ)
  • Mid-Atlantic Addiction & Technology Transfer Center (Mid-Atlantic ATTC)
  • Northwest Frontier Addiction Technology Transfer Center (ATTC) Portland, Oregon
  • Fourth (4th) Judicial Circuit Court of Florida – Jacksonville, Florida
  • Manhattan Family Court, New York, NY
  • Kitsap County Drug Court, Port Orchard, Washington
  • Douglas County Juvenile Drug Court - Omaha, Nebraska
  • Santa Barbara County Probation Department - Santa Barbara, California
  • Escambia County Drug Court - Pensacola, Florida 
  • Clermont County Juvenile Drug Court - Batavia, Ohio
  • Lane County Juvenile Court and Juvenile Drug Court - Eugene, Oregon

Where We've Been in Treatment Courts

Selected (partial) listing of previous clients of the Center for Strength-Based Strategies

**Keynote addresses in bold

State of Maine, Department of Health & Human Services, Office of Substance Abuse Services and AdCare Educational Institute, Inc. Two 2 day trainings, 1) "Strength-based Strategies for Youth & Families" and 2) Advanced Strength-based Strategies and 3) Half-day Interactive broadcast for State Drug Courts from Augusta, Maine to four statewide sites "Strength-based Practice and Adolescent Issues of Emotions, Reasoning and Risk-taking.
Waterville, Maine 

Michigan Association of Community Mental Health Boards, Center for Addiction Professionals, 1 day training, "The Science of Human Motivation: The Stages of Change Model"
Lansing, Michigan 

Michigan Association of Drug Court Professionals, 7th Annual Conference, 2 Workshops. 1) "Drug Court Tune-up: Moving from Sanctions to Motivation and Engagement and 2) Motivational Interviewing for Drug Courts
Lansing, Michigan 

Fllorida Alcohol & Drug Abuse Association / Southern Coast Addiction Technology & Transfer Center 2005 Annual Conference, Workshop – "Strength-based Practices for Addictions" 
Orlando, Florida 

Barry County Trial Court—Family Division, Barry County Juvenile Drug Court, "Drug Court Tune-Up"
Hastings, Michigan 

State of North Dakota, Office of State Court Administrator – Juvenile Court & Juvenile Drug Court Seminar "Strength-based Practice"
Fargo, ND 

Michigan Association of Community Mental Health Boards, Substance Abuse Training Project, "Advanced Skill-Building in Motivational Interviewing" 3 one day sessions 
Lansing, MI / Sterling Heights, MI / Lewiston, MI 

Center for Substance Abuse Treatment (CSAT), Criminal Justice Treatment Drug Court Grantee Conference. Plenary Address "Motivating Clients Towards Change"
Washington, DC 

Circuit Court-Family Division, Livingston County Juvenile Drug Court, "Drug Court Tune-Up"
Howell, Michigan 

University of Wyoming & State of Wyoming, Department of Health / Substance Abuse Division, 2 day workshop for the Sheridan Drug Court Staff: Strengths Approach 
Sheridan, Wyoming 

Lane County Juvenile Court, Juvenile Drug Court and Community Corrections, two sessions, Strengths training
Eugene, Oregon 

Native American Alliance Foundation and US Department of Justice (DOJ), Invited Workshop: Strength-based Strategies.
Albuquerque, New Mexico

Lucas County Court of Common Pleas-Juvenile Division, Lucas County Juvenile Drug Court, 1) Strength-based Assessement and Motivational Interviewing, 2) Motivational Interviewing, advanced, 3) Family Drug Court Retreat training
Toledo, Ohio 

Clackamas County Juvenile Court & Juvenile Drug Court, 2 day training: Strength-based Case Management
Oregon City, Oregon 

Travis County Juvenile Drug Court & Juvenile Probation Department, 2 day training: Motivational Interviewing 
Austin, Texas 

Passaic County Juvenile Drug Court, 2 day training: Motivational Interviewing and 2 day training "Drug Court Tune Up" & Team Building
Paterson, New Jersey 

Douglas County Juvenile Drug Court – 1). Onsite Consultation & Drug Court program review with submission of OJJDP technical assistance report, and 2) Two day training – Strength-Based Practice, Adolescent Development & Motivational Interviewing
Omaha, Nebraska 

4th Annual Conference – Michigan Association of Drug Court Professionals – Plenary session "Therapeutic Approach: Motivational Techniques for the Drug Court Team"
Lansing, Michigan

4th Annual Juvenile & Family Drug Court Training Conference – Invited Workshop: Motivational Interviewing.
Washington, DC 

State of Wyoming, Governor's Substance Abuse and Violent Crimes Advisory Board and the Wyoming State Advisory Council on Juvenile Justice, Plenary address: "Strength-Based Practices for Substance Abuse Populations" 
Laramie, Wyoming 

New Mexico Association for Addiction Professionals – 36th Annual Silver City Institute on Alcohol and Other Drugs. Keynote Address: "Strength-Based Strategies: Maximizing All Resources for Substance Abuse Programming" 
Silver City, New Mexico 

Virginia Drug Court Association, workshop: "Strength-based Treatment Approaches with Adults"
Newport News, Virginia 

State of Idaho – 18th Annual Idaho Conference on Alcohol and Drug Dependency, "Turning High-Risk to High-Yield with Strength-Based Practice"
Boise, Idaho 

Mid-Atlantic Addiction Technology Transfer Center – Regional Adolescent Conference(Panel Speaker) 
Richmond, VA 

State of Oregon - Corrections Summit on Offender Alcohol and Drug Treatment Services, "Substance Abuse Treatment in the Juvenile Justice Population"
Salem, Oregon

US Dept of Justice - Bureau of Justice Assistance (BOJ), Drug Courts Programs Office & The National Council Of Juvenile & Family Court Judges
Santa Barbara, California 
Santa Fe, New Mexico
Seattle, Washington 
Phoenix, Arizona
Reno, Nevada 
Kansas City, Missouri
New Orleans, Louisiana 
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Superior Court of Guam, Pacific Juvenile Drug Court Conference – Keynote Address, "Raising Youth and Family Motivation: Strength-based Practice" 
Agana, Guam (US Territory) 

Louisiana Association of Drug Court Professionals – 2 Day Strengths Training
New Orleans, Louisiana

National Association of Drug Court Professionals (NADCP), 2nd Annual Juvenile & Family Drug Court Training Conference. Two workshops: "Motivational Interviewing" and "Strength-Based Techniques for Judges and Lawyers"
Miami, Florida 

4th Annual Statewide Conference - New Mexico Association of Drug Court Professionals. Keynote Address, "Strength-based Practice: Raising Motivation and Inducing Behavior Change. 
Albuquerque, New Mexico 

Judicial Response to Alcohol and Other Drugs – Louis McHardy National College of Juvenile and Family Justice, National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges. Strength-based Approaches,
Reno, Nevada 

Missoula Juvenile Drug Court, two day training "Strength-based Practice for Drug Courts" 
Missoula, Montana 

2nd International Conference on Therapeutic Jurisprudence, workshop, "Change-Focused Drug Court Teams"
Cinncinati, Ohio 

National Association of Drug Court Professionals (NADCP) – 7th Annual Training Conference
New Orleans, Louisiana 

Judicial Council of California, Administrative Office of the Courts –State Conference: "Beyond the Bench XII" Workshop presentation: "Cutting Edge Drug Court Practices"
Los Angeles, California 

Center for Substance Abuse Treatment (CSAT), Mid-Atlantic Addiction Technology Transfer Center, Maryland Alcohol and Drug Abuse Administration, Virginia Department of Juvenile Justice -Mid-Atlantic Conference on Substance Abuse Treatment and Prevention for Adolescents 
Charlottesville, Virginia 

United States Speakers Program - Department of State, United States Embassy -Malta (Mediterranean section) & Maltese Substance Abuse Treatment Agency - (SEDQA), University of Malta - Institute of Forensic Studies – Address to the Maltese Courts regarding Drug Court Implementation
Valletta, Malta 

U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs - Drug Courts Programs Office & the National Council Of Juvenile & Family Court Judges
Jacksonville, Florida
San Francisco, California
Denver, Colorado
Salt Lake City, Utah
Pensacola, Florida
Denver, Colorado
San Diego, California
Dallas, Texas
Charleston, South Carolina
Savannah, Georgia
Albuquerque, New Mexico
Phoenix, Arizona

U.S. Department of Justice & Drug Court Programs Office, Justice Management Institute-Denver, Colorado –Drug Court Implementation Grantee Conference Plenary Address - "Cultural Diversity Issues In Treatment and Other Aspects of Drug Court Operations"
Salt Lake City, Utah

Kitsap County, Washington Juvenile Drug Court, Training workshop and onsite technical assistance facilitated by the.Drug Court Clearinghouse and Technical Assistance Project, "Application of Strength-Based Principles for the Juvenile Drug Court Program"
Port Orchard, Washington

Santa Clara County, California Juvenile Drug Court, Training workshop and onsite technical assistance facilitated by the Drug Court Clearinghouse and Technical Assistance Project, "Application of Strength-Based Principles to Juvenile Drug Court Program"
San Jose, California

Clermont County Juvenile Drug Court and the Clermont Recovery Center, 2 Stage training - (2 separate days) Day One: "Strength-Based Practice for Juvenile Drug Courts" Day Two: "Adolescent Development / Raising Motivation"
Batavia, Ohio

Escambia County Juvenile Court Training for Probation staff and Specialty Courts - 2.0 days "Strength-Based Practice for Raising Motivation"
Pensacola, Florida 

Manhattan Family Treatment Court, Facilitation of staff retreat and In-Service training: Strength-Based Practice, Adolescent Development & Team Building.
New York, N.Y.