The goal of juvenile justice interventions is to motivate adolescent behavior change—not an easy task, as any parent can attest. Teen behavior can be baffling; adolescents are impulsive, they love to take risks, their peers are essential to their self-image, and their emotions play a key role in their decision-making process. But there are strategies that have been proven to help adolescents, even the most at-risk youth, to live healthy lives.
Addiction is both a personal health crisis and a public health concern; it wreaks havoc on individual lives and can damage entire communities. The opioid crisis, for example, has led to the deaths of thousands of people, devastated families, and left cities and towns struggling financially from the loss of a workforce. How we understand addiction, therefore, has significant policy implications. The trouble is, addiction is difficult to treat, relapse is common, and there is no scientific rule to explain why any given drinker, user of prescription drugs, or recreational marijuana user becomes dependent or addicted.
Evening news stories’ headlines, bloggers, public opinion, all broadcast the dangerous effects of social media on today’s youth. Some argue that online sharing has replaced human interaction, stunting emotional growth and leaving young people socially isolated. Others fret that the increased access to sexual and violent content and general vulgarity that the internet allows is causing an erosion of teens’ moral perceptions. Whatever the conclusion, it seems everyone agrees the kids are not alright.
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.
NDCRC 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!
Effective Communication and Media for Drug Courts
Wednesday, May 30, 1:15 p.m. – 2:30 p.m. | 320 A
Panelists: Dr. Elizabeth Krempley, Megan Ward
Implementing a few simple communications practices can have outsized benefits for your treatment court. Telling your organization’s story well can improve community support for your program, increase enrollment, and raise your profile among potential funders. Join American University’s Justice Programs Office’s Elizabeth Krempley, Associate Director for Communications, and Megan Ward, Program Associate, to learn practical communications strategies and procedures for drug courts! This workshop will cover how to craft your program’s message, how to use social media to share your message, and how to engage with reporters and traditional media.
The 2017 Drug Court Review: A Discussion with the Authors
Wednesday, May 30, 1:15 p.m. – 2:30 p.m. | 371 B/E
Moderator: Preeti Menon; Panelists: Dr. Julie Baldwin, Dr. John Gallagher, Dr. Paul Lucas
NDCRC publishes an annual scholarly journal for the treatment court field, focusing on relevant and timely issues. This year’s Drug Court Review is centered around the study of veterans treatment courts (VTCs). Select authors of articles of this special issue will discuss their research and emergent topics within the VTC field.
Judicial Leadership: What They Don’t Teach You When Taking the Bench (for Judges and Those Who Work Closest with Them)
Thursday, May 31, 3:15 p.m. – 4:30 p.m. | Grand Ballroom B
Moderator: Preeti Menon; Panelists: Hon. Robert Russell, Hon. Tim Marcel, Hon. Eric Mehnert, Hon. Kevin Burke
After years of law school, practicing law, and serving on the bench, judges are well versed in the law. However, being an effective leader within the treatment court field comes with its own unique set of challenges and requisite skills. It is all too common for judges to be put in the position to lead these innovative programs without any formal education or training in program management or leadership. This session will cover skill building for judges in leadership, vision development, and effective communication.
Prosecutors and Defenders as Adversaries and Allies
Friday, June 1, 1:45 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. | Grand Ballroom C
Moderator: Zephi Francis; Panelists: Jenny Semmel, Ginger James, Pam Loh, Jonathan Schetky
The role of a prosecutor and defender fluctuate from adversaries to teammates in a drug treatment court setting. This session will provide attendees an opportunity to hear from court adversaries about collaborating and shifting their roles to best serve participants while adhering to the drug court model. This session will provide a medium for prosecutors and defenders to discuss challenges often encountered when working together toward a common goal of participant graduation.
Sixty-five million Americans have a criminal record. That is 65 million people living with barriers to employment, education, housing, and other key assets needed to build a life. To raise awareness about the limits placed on formerly incarcerated people re-entering society, the Justice Programs Office (JPO) has joined other organizations in declaring April 2018 “Second Chance Month.” During my time at JPO, my work has focused on substance use issues, and I have witnessed the added stigma given to those with substance use disorders in the criminal justice system. Labeling a person as an “addict” and a “criminal” effectively reduces their humanity and serves as justification for denying them support services. This stigma is something treatment courts actively work against. These specialized court programs are designed to recognize the dignity of every person and provide them with an opportunity for a second chance. Continue reading “Overcoming Stigma with Treatment Courts”