Implementing a recovery capital model into therapeutic courts: case study and lessons learned

Emily A. Hennessy, Paige Krasnoff, David Best

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Recovery capital is a strengths-based and multi-level model for examining the process and outputs of recovery and desistance. Recovery capital posits that the more positive resources one accrues, the better the chances of recovery. Oftentimes growth of one’s recovery capital must be initiated through identifying programs in the community to create supportive scaffolding: this may be especially true for individuals involved in the justice system. This manuscript presents the results of a pilot evaluation of the REC-CAP, a recovery-capital oriented system of measurement, planning, and engagement in two drug treatment courts. We include a description of the implementation process and results from surveys and focus groups with the court staff. Results suggests that the trainings were useful and that court staff meaningfully engaged with the REC-CAP system. Court staff felt the REC-CAP provided important information about court clients’ strengths and barriers and suggested next steps for staff to take to guide their clients. Future work should explore how the REC-CAP score profile may change with progress through the court phases as well as how to incorporate more system-level supports for a REC-CAP orientation among probation officers and other court staff.
Original languageEnglish
JournalInternational Journal of Offender Therapy and Comparative Criminology
Early online date27 Sept 2023
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 27 Sept 2023


  • care planning
  • drug treatment court
  • evaluation
  • recovery
  • recovery capital
  • therapeutic jurisprudence


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