Collaborative Justice Courts

Collaborative justice courts-also known as problem-solving courts- combine judicial supervision with rehabilitation services that are rigorously monitored and focused on recovery to reduce recidivism and improve offender outcomes.

Examples of collaborative justice courts are community courts, drug courts, DUI courts, homeless courts, mental health courts, reentry courts, veterans courts, and courts where the defendant may be a minor or where the child's welfare is at issue. These include dating/youth domestic violence courts, drug courts, DUI court in schools program, mental health courts, and peer/youth courts.

Collaborative justice key principles, as defined by the Collaborative Justice Courts Advisory Committee, based on the National Association of Drug Court Professionals' (NADCP) 10 components described in "Defining Drug Courts: The Key Components," are as follows:

  • Collaborative justice courts integrate services with justice system processing.
  • Collaborative justice courts emphasize achieving the desired goals without using the traditional adversarial process.
  • Eligible participants are identified early and promptly placed in the collaborative justice court program.
  • Collaborative justice courts provide access to a continuum of services, including treatment and rehabilitation services.
  • Compliance is monitored frequently.
  • A coordinated strategy governs the court's responses to participants' compliance, using a system of sanctions and incentives to foster compliance.
  • Ongoing judicial interaction with each collaborative justice court participant is essential.
  • Monitoring and evaluation measure the achievement of program goals and gauge effectiveness.
  • Effective collaborative justice court operations require continuing interdisciplinary education.
  • Forging partnerships among collaborative justice courts, public agencies, and community-based organizations increases the availability of services, enhances the program's effectiveness, and generates local support.
  • Effective collaborative justice courts emphasize a team and individual commitment to cultural competency. Awareness of and responsiveness to diversity and cultural issues help ensure an attitude of respect within the collaborative justice court setting.

The Judicial Council’s Collaborative Justice Courts Advisory Committee advises the Judicial Council regarding collaborative justice, or problem-solving, courts. It makes recommendations to the Judicial Council for developing collaborative justice courts, improving their processing of cases, and overseeing the evaluation of such courts throughout the state.

The mission of the Collaborative Justice Courts Advisory Committee is to:

  • Make recommendations to the Judicial Council on criteria for identifying and evaluating collaborative justice courts;
  • Assess and measure the success and effectiveness of collaborative justice courts;
  • Identify local best practices;
  • Recommend minimum judicial education standards and educational activities;
  • Advise the council of potential funding sources;
  • Make recommendations on grant funding programs administered by the AOC; and
  • Recommend appropriate outreach activities to support collaborative justice courts.

Learn more about the Collaborative Justice Courts Advisory Committee.

    Learn more about: 

    Collaborative Justice Courts Fact Sheet

    Adult Collaborative Courts

    Adult collaborative justice court types include: 
    Community/Homeless Courts
    Drug Courts
    DUI Courts
    Mental Health Courts
    Reentry Courts
    Veterans Courts

    Juvenile Collaborative Courts

    About Juvenile Collaborative Court Models

    Juvenile collaborative justice court types include:
    Youth Domestic Violence/Dating Violence Court
    Juvenile Drug Courts
    Juvenile Mental Health Courts
    Peer/Youth Court
    Girls Court and CESE Courts


    Information on grants and other funding opportunities is provided to help local courts, upon their request, to obtain funding and other assistance for local collaborative court projects. One such grant, the Collaborative Justice Substance Abuse Focus Grant (SAFG), distributes funds from the State budget that are earmarked for collaborative and drug court projects and are available to support local collaborative justice and drug courts throughout California, as well as supplements dependency drug courts with federal funding from the Court Improvement Project.

    Research and Publications

    California's Drug Court Cost Study. Also collaborative justice studies documenting the development of problem solving courts throughout the state.


    Monterey County's DUI Treatment Court

    The Superior Court of Monterey County operates a Driving Under the Influence Treatment Court offering high-risk offenders the option of rehabilitation instead of incarceration.

    Video 3:22

    Contact Info

    Judicial Council of California

    Center for Families, Children & the Courts
    Collaborative Justice
    455 Golden Gate Avenue, 6th Floor
    San Francisco, California 94102

    To contact staff to the Judicial Council Collaborative Justice Courts Advisory Committee, email