Treatment Courts (also sometimes referred to as problem solving courts or specialty courts) are specialized programs to help justice-involved individuals receive treatment for substance use and other mental health disorders, and they have proliferated across the country over the past three decades. The most common of these treatment courts is the adult drug court. The National Drug Court Resource, Policy, and Evidence-Based Practice Center (NDCRC) is the go-to place for drug court practitioners to access a wide variety of resources to make their programs as effective as possible. Housed at the Justice Programs Office at American University, the NDCRC has collected sample forms, research, a map of drug and other treatment courts across the country, and other resources that these practitioners can use to help their participants receive the treatment they need to get their lives back on track.
Pennsylvania Governor signs bill to automatically seal criminal records for low-level offenders, reforms reducing cash bail in Maryland actually increasing number of those held without bail, and inconsistent veterans treatment court coverage exists in New York despite expansion. All of these stories and much more in the latest edition of the Friday News Roundup.
Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy announces plan to retire on July 31, Juvenile justice reforms in Connecticut are making an impact, and a study of New York bail by FiveThirtyEight shows that it may all depend on who your judge is. These stories and much more in the latest edition of the Friday News Roundup. Continue reading “Friday News Roundup: June 29, 2018”
Delaware lawmakers race against the legislative clock to pass money bail reform, audit finds increased violence in Louisiana juvenile facilities, and the ACLU is challenging New Hampshire’s debt-collection methods for public defense fees. All these stories and much more in the latest edition of the Friday News Roundup.
Major pharmacies attempt to remove themselves from the nationwide opioid lawsuit, a package of bills in Michigan seek to raise the age and improve juvenile justice services, and a lawsuit against Louisiana’s public defense system seeks class-action status. All of these stories and much more in the latest edition of the Friday News Roundup.
Addiction is complex. Addiction treatment is even more so. John Oliver, the host of Last Week Tonight, provides an intriguing glimpse into some of the complexities of this industry during his May 20, 2018, episode. I recently watched the episode, and even as someone whose work over the past five years has centered on drug treatment courts (including drug treatment), I was shocked. I found it hard to believe that the $34 billion treatment industry, an industry that includes over 14,500 drug treatment facilities in the United States, is effectively unregulated at the federal level with “no federal standards for counseling practices or rehab programs.”
Just four years ago I was sitting with this exact (probably outdated, now) laptop trying to sell myself to American University’s admissions team. In my application, I vowed to engage in every opportunity possible to immerse myself in the criminal justice education I was pursuing. Four years later, I can proudly say that after completing three internships, graduating with University and Latin Honors, getting hired at the Justice Programs Office, and accepting a scholarship to attend the Washington College of Law (WCL), I have done just that. Now, after attending the National Association of Drug Court Professionals (NADCP) Annual Conference in Houston, I know I am ready to pursue my own legal career and advocate for these life-changing specialty dockets.
President Trump commutes the sentence of Alice Marie Johnson following lobbying from Kim Kardashian West, Wisconsin juvenile prison officials agree to end pepper spraying and solitary confinement in response to ACLU lawsuit, and Texas counties are being forced to shore up public defense due to lack of state funds. All of this and much more below in our latest edition of the JPO Friday News Roundup.
U.S. Representative Doug Collins introduces a bipartisan bill to combat the opioid epidemic, an Illinois law designed to seal juvenile records has unintended consequences for police misconduct cases, and Tennessee approves $9.7 million in funding for indigent defense. All of this and much more in this week’s edition of the Friday News Roundup.
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.
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.
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.