Recovery-Oriented System of Care

The courts are uniquely positioned to help struggling individuals find a path to lifelong recovery.

Over the last few years, the Kentucky Court of Justice has changed its approach to the state's escalating drug epidemic with the goal of moving toward a recovery-oriented system of care. Through educational programs and new processes, judges, circuit court clerks and court personnel have improved their understanding of substance use disorders and begun applying best court practices to drug-related cases.

As part of this effort, the KCOJ wanted to measure its readiness to give individuals access to the treatment and services they need. Thanks to a grant from the State Justice Institute, the court system was able to collaborate with the Crime and Justice Institute to examine its ability to adopt a recovery-oriented model.

The result was the report Recovery-Oriented Systems of Care: Needs and Opportunities for Kentucky's Court System.

Among the recommendations in the report are the following:
•    Convene a working group to develop a vision, goals, values and key definitions.
•    Form a statewide steering committee to address the gaps between Kentucky’s current system and the system      outlined by the working group.
•    Identify key areas of the state to pilot local Recovery-Oriented System of Care efforts.

The Administrative Office of the Courts appointed the RESTORE Leadership Team as the working group. The team, which is made up of Circuit, Family and District Court judges and a circuit court clerk, put together this report: Setting the Direction for Kentucky’s Recovery-Oriented System of Care. The report establishes a framework for implementing Kentucky’s Recovery-Oriented System of Care. It also outlines plans for supporting and promoting recovery in mental health and substance use through the courts, including the creation of the Kentucky Judicial Commission on Mental Health. The Supreme Court launched the commission in August 2022.

We encourage you to join us in promoting recovery for the individuals, families and communities impacted by mental health and substance use disorders.