Healing While Defending Right to Counsel

Preeti Menon R2C sign

For those who work in the treatment court field, how often is a public defender part of your drug treatment court team? If your answer is “sometimes,” “not often,” or “not at all,” please continue to read. If your answer is “always,” kudos to you; please share this blog post and your stories with us.

Drug treatment courts use a specialized model for people facing criminal drug charges who live with serious substance use and mental health disorders. Drug court teams, which comprise members of the judiciary, prosecution, defense bar, probation, law enforcement, mental health, social services, and treatment communities, work together to help addicted offenders get into long-term recovery. As part of the drug treatment court team, public defenders participate in the team meetings and often provides input in his/her client’s treatment plan.

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A Place Called OSCA

The Justice Programs Office is celebrating National Drug Court Month by sharing the personal perspectives of those who work in the treatment court field. Angela Plunkett, Statewide Drug Court Coordinator for the State of Missouri, finishes our guest series with her personal journey from a tough-as-nails parole officer to becoming a drug court advocate and statewide coordinator. 

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Just by looking at my 5’1 stature, you wouldn’t guess I used to be a hard-nosed, pistol-packin’ parole officer (PO), nicknamed The Iron Maiden (the only nickname I care to repeat).

I’m ashamed to admit it now, but I was a big-headed, judgmental PO who used to say to clients, “If I can say NO to drugs, you can too,” and “You’d better not EVER lie to me…”

The associate judge approached myself and three other PO’s in the law library one day after court. He asked if we had ever heard of “drug court.” My response, which surprised even me, was, “I don’t know what it is, but I’m all in!” After 12 years at Probation & Parole I was tired of the generational, revolving door and needed something new.

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Friday News Roundup: May 25, 2018

Friday News Roundup

The House Appropriations Committee greenlights a bill to fund the fight against the opioid epidemic, the governor of Colorado asks lawmakers to participate in an intensive review the state’s juvenile justice system, and the Wisconsin Supreme Court approves a pay increase for court-appointed defense attorneys. These stories and more below in the latest edition of the JPO Friday News Roundup. 

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Juvenile Drug Treatment Court Training at the National Association of Drug Court Professionals Conference

Our juvenile drug treatment court team is excited to join our partners and friends at the National Association of Drug Court Professional Annual Conference (NADCP). Don’t miss out on the workshops we are hosting!

The OJJDP Juvenile Drug Treatment Court Guidelines Workshop: Kids Matter
Wednesday, May 30, 8:45 a.m. – 2:30 p.m. | 351 B/E
Trainers: Matthew Collinson, Evan Elkin, Bridgett Ortega, Jessica Pearce, Doris Perdomo-Johnson, Zoë Root, Wendy Schiller, Megan Ward, Jacqueline van Wormer

All juvenile drug treatment courts (JDTCs) want to see the best outcomes for the youth in their programs, but until recently there hasn’t been a clear path to achieve this goal. The Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention’s Juvenile Drug Treatment Court Guidelines provide courts with an outline of evidence-based practices shown to respond to the unique needs of adolescents and improve outcomes for youth. Join the Juvenile Drug Treatment Courts Training and Technical Assistance Initiative, a project partnership of the Justice Programs Office at American University and the National Association of Drug Court Professionals, for an in-depth training on how the Guidelines can shape a JDTC that is functional, developmentally appropriate, equitable, and results in youth living healthy and save lives.

The Juvenile Drug Treatment Court Guidelines: The Big Picture, The Critical Details
Thursday, May 31 at 9:30 a.m. – 10:45 a.m. | 360 AD
Presenters: Zoë Root and Jacqueline van Wormer

 All juvenile drug treatment courts want to see the best outcomes for the youth in their programs, but until recently there hasn’t been a clear path to achieve this goal. The Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention’s Juvenile Drug Treatment Court Guidelines provide courts with an outline of evidence-based practices shown to respond to the unique needs of adolescents and improve outcomes for youth. Join the Juvenile Drug Treatment Courts Training and Technical Assistance Initiative, a project partnership of the Justice Programs Office at American University and the National Association of Drug Court Professionals, for an overview of the key principals of the Guidelines.

Evidence-Based Substance Use Disorder Treatment for Juveniles
Thursday, May 31 at 3:15 p.m. – 4:30 p.m. | 360 AD
Presenter: Doris Perdomo-Johnson

It is well established that youth differ significantly from adults in brain development, affecting their behavior and risk-taking calculations. Join Doris Perdomo-Johnson, clinical research coordinator at the University of Miami, to learn how juvenile drug treatment courts (JDCTs) should apply an adolescent-based approach in the development of their policies and procedures and improve outcomes for the youth in their court. Ms. Perdomo-Johnson will explore the differences between adolescent and adult substance use, effective methods to address substance use during the teenage years, and ultimately the creation of a “culture of change, acceptance, and resilience” in JDTCs.

Prescription Opioid Use Among Youth and Implications for Juvenile Drug Treatment Courts with
Friday, June 1 at 1:45 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. | 320 C
Presenter: Marc Fishman, MD

The rate of opioid use among teens may not be as high as in the adult population, but recent research has shown that youth are much more likely to experience negative outcomes from opioid misuse than adults. Dr. Marc Fishman will discuss prevention strategies for opioid misuse and how juvenile drug treatment courts (JDTCs) can play a role in implementing those strategies. In addition, JDTC practitioners will receive training on how this public health concern could potentially affect the participants of their programs and how they should be prepared to respond.

 

“But the data says no” … In which a researcher learns compassion

MattCollinson Presenting

Allow me to begin with a confession: I’m a researcher at heart, and I have an unhealthy obsession with data. This has its benefits (bear with me . . .): If you make an argument you can support with data, I will be on your side, all in. But it also has a downside: sometimes, while the data suggests a certain course of action, because “it will likely result in the best outcomes,” this actually doesn’t convince normal humans, and it certainly fails to quiet our conscience which asks, “is that really the best thing to do?”

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Indigenizing the Drug Court

The Justice Programs Office is celebrating National Drug Court Month by sharing the personal perspectives of those who work in the treatment court field. Lauren van Schilfgaarde, Tribal Law Specialist at the Tribal Law and Policy Institute, continues our series with a look at Tribal Healing to Wellness Courts and their ability to heal both addictions and communities. 

headshot (1)The modern tribal court is not an organic indigenous system. It is, in part, a product of the Indian Reorganization Act (IRA) of 1934,[1] a federal statute that rejected prior federal Indian policies of assimilation and land loss and promoted the reestablishment of tribal governments.[2] Yet, the implementation of the Act meant tribal governmental structures needed to look and sound like Anglo institutions rather than traditional tribal ones. Furthered by the Indian Civil Rights Act of 1968,[3] the typical tribal court mirrors the American adversarial system, complete with a focus on incarceration and poor recidivism rates.

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Friday News Roundup: May 18, 2018

Friday News Roundup

A 6-3 decision from the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that a Louisiana court could not accept a lawyer’s admission of guilt over his client’s objections, drug courts remain divided on the best path to treating addiction, and a local group sends lawyers to help juveniles in jail navigate the legal system. All these stories and much more below in the latest edition of the JPO News Roundup. 

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Luck or Hard Work

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Last year, the annual National Association of Drug Court Professionals (NADCP) conference was held in Washington, D.C., in June.  The Justice Programs Office presents at the conference every year and we bring many of our resources with us to share with the treatment court field. One of the most popular tools is a thumb drive pre-loaded with a library of digital resources for drug court practitioners.  I attended the conference last year as a newly appointed Project Director for the National Drug Court Resource Center, a project funded by Bureau of Justice Assistance, and we had just completed the planning phase for many of the project’s initiatives.  During the conference, I came across a dollar that I deemed to be my drug court lucky dollar.  I have carried this dollar with me in my phone case over the last year and would like to share the successes we have had since.

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Friday News Roundup: May 11, 2018

Friday News Roundup

A 2014 juvenile justice reform bill in Kentucky sees big reductions in youth incarceration four years later, San Diego Homeless Court offers relief from fines for those least able to afford them, and Los Angeles public defenders continue to protest the new head of the public defender agency due to lack of experience. Continue below to read these stories and more in the latest edition of the JPO Friday News Roundup.

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