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The Best Practices Self-Assessment Tool

Take the BeST Assessment and improve your program.

The BeST is an automated online assessment tool developed by NPC Research. It asks treatment court teams for basic, objective information about procedures and practices in their treatment court program and translates this information into measures of the court’s fidelity to research-based best practices.

The Best Assessment is open to all treatment court types.



  • When a treatment court team completes the online assessment, NPC creates a report detailing the court’s adherence to a variety of best practices.

  • The assessment and report help the treatment court team and stakeholders understand how well their program is implementing the research based Adult Drug Court Best Practice Standards as well as the original 10 Key Components of Drug Courts.

  • Results from the tool are used to assist in identifying training and technical assistance needs.


The BeST was developed based on in-depth qualitative data collected in prior research in more than 100 drug courts (e.g., Perkins, Carey, & Cox, 2008; Carey, Waller, Sanders, & Burrus, 2010; Ho, Carey & Malsch, 2018).

The tool assesses the following areas:

  • Program Background

    These questions include when and how the program was implemented, primary substances used and demographics of clients entering the program, and the make-up of the team.

  • Eligibility (Inclusion and Exclusion) Criteria:

    The focus of this section is on specific inclusions and exclusions for entry, as well as the referral process, into the program. For example, offenses and charges accepted, including those targeted for admission, age restrictions, and whether clients are excluded for having mental health problems, a violent criminal history or gang involvement.

  • Treatment Court Team Activities:

    This area assesses how often the treatment court team meets, its composition, communication between team members and the roles of each member.

  • Treatment:

    This section measures the number of treatment providers involved with the court, their relationship with the court, the type of treatment services offered (residential, outpatient, detoxification, etc.) and ancillary services (parenting, anger management, education, etc.) as well as the use of evidence-based treatment practices.

  • Drug Testing:

    This area records the types of drug tests, how they are implemented, and the frequency with which they are performed.

  • Other practices related to best practice standards and the 10 Key Components:

    Treatment court practices are further assessed with detailed questions including topics such as how the judge interacts with participants, use of incentives and sanctions, team training, and data collection and evaluation activities.