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Teleservices: Happening Now!

NCJ Number
Karen Otis; Annie Schachar; Aaron Arnold
Date Published
June 2017
8 pages
In presenting an overview of pilot "teleservices" projects in problemsolving courts such as drug courts, this report highlights promising practices and offers recommendations for implementing teleservices initiatives in other jurisdictions.
"Teleservices" is a collective term for technologies that include video-conferencing, smart phone apps, portable drug-testing devices, and other technological devices used to deliver court treatment services, supervise clients, and train staff. The pilot projects reviewed are in Montana, Idaho, Illinois, West Virginia, Missouri, Arizona, and Nebraska. The types of problemsolving courts involved in these teleservices projects include a military veterans court, a DUI (driving under the influence) court, drug courts, and mental health courts. The needs addressed by teleservices in these sites include the scarcity of problemsolving courts and evidence-based treatment services in some areas of a state or county, language barriers, and racial disparities. The teleservices used to address these needs include video-conferencing, phone apps, and online services. This report provides a checklist designed to assist practitioners in planning an effective teleservices project. Some of the issues addressed are how teleservices support current drug court operations; how teleservices can fill gaps in treatment; the technology readily available and the technology needed; which stakeholders should be included in planning for court teleservices; funding sources needed; confidentiality requirements in teleservices; needed policies and procedures; and the training needed for court staff and service providers.