Choctaw Tribal Healing to Wellness Court Evaluation

Dates: 2007-2009

State: Mississippi

Client(s): Choctaw Tribal Nation

Services: Health Care & Public Health Planning, Applied Research & Evaluation

Technical Expertise: Substance Use, Behavioral Health, Integrated Care Models, Native American/American Indian Health Services


The drug court movement began in the late 1980s in response to the growing number of drug-related court cases, the higher rates of recidivism for drug involved defendants, and the resulting overcrowded jails and prisons. Healing to Wellness Courts are drug courts within Indian Country. The drug court concept is not new to Indian Nations and tribal justice systems. In fact, it is very much in keeping with the traditional justice process in many Native communities. Major efforts to develop tribal drug courts have been underway since 1997.

The Choctaw Nation Tribal Court subcontracted with JSI to provide evaluation services in the development of their Tribal Healing to Wellness Court. This specialized court provides intensive case management services for substance-abusing offenders. Evaluation activities included the development of a client tracking database and quantitative and qualitative data collection and analyses that resulted in an evaluation report that was submitted to the Nation governing bodies as well as BJA their funding agency.