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Tribal Juvenile Wellness Courts

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1 Tribal Juvenile Wellness Courts
Tribal Law & Policy Institute 4/15/2017

2 History of Juvenile Drug Courts
War on drugs in 1980s strained justice systems nationwide & created revolving door of offenders in and out of system Philosophical shift to courts that can heal Innovative partnerships between courts and treatment By 2000, more that 1,000 drug courts established and planned nationwide – most were for adults By 2000, CDC reported increases in and alarmingly high rates of juvenile smoking, drinking, and other illicit drug use Strong evidence of association between alcohol and drug use and delinquent behavior Mid-1990’s state courts started innovative juvenile drug court dockets Between 1995 and 2001, more than 140 juvenile drug courts established and more than 125 planned nationwide -Drug Court movement emerged in response to crack cocaine epidemic in 1980’s – nation-wide war on drugs strained court systems and resulted in revolving door syndrome that cycled drug offenders in and out of justice system -Philosophical shift in field toward “therapeutic jurisprudence” – courts that can heal 4/15/2017

3 How a Juvenile Drug Court Works
Identified use of alcohol and/or drugs Charged with “delinquent act” or “status offense” Referral or ordered from Juvenile Court to Drug Court* Drug Court Judge holds ~weekly Drug Court status hearings (attended by all participants, family members, & Drug Court Team members) Drug Court Judges lead and work with Drug Court Team Drug Court Team determines how best to address substance use and related problems (using a phased treatment plan and the application of incentives and sanctions –many administered in Drug Court status hearings) *Some jurisdictions may conflate the work of their juvenile court and drug court dockets into one Youth are identified as having problems with alcohol and/or drug use AND Youth “charged” with having committed “delinquent acts” or “status offenses” Youth may be processed through the regular juvenile court docket and be referred or order to a drug court docket* Juvenile Drug Court judge maintains close oversight of each case through frequent (usually weekly) status hearings Juvenile Drug Court judge both leads and works as a member of a Drug Court Team Drug Court Team determines how best to address substance use and related problems 4/15/2017

4 Tribal Juvenile Court Process

5 Tribal Juvenile Wellness Court Process

6 How Juvenile Drug Courts Are Different From Adult Drug Courts
Youth are seldom addicted to alcohol and drugs but they use Youth use for vastly different reasons than do adults Youth are still developing cognitive, social, and emotional skills Family members, peers, schools, and community relationships significantly influence development Juvenile Drug Courts must shift focus from a single participant to the entire family Youth are required to abide by laws specific to them (e.g., school attendance) Juvenile Drug Courts will need to … Develop motivational strategies specific to adolescents Counteract negative influence of peers, gangs, and family members Address the needs of the family Comply with confidentiality requirements while sharing information Respond to developmental challenges that occur while juveniles are under the court’s jurisdiction 4/15/2017

7 Sample Phased Treatment Plan

8 Goal-Oriented Incentives & Sanctions (I&Ss)
Behavior modification strategies that promote each youth’s ability to account for his or her own actions Judge plays central role in administering in presence of other youth & families Successful I&S’s … have a specific goal for their use (to motivate or deter what?) are tailored to each individual youth (what will motivate or deter him or her?) build youth competencies & skills are appropriate for the youth’s developmental level and are graduated as the youth progresses are therapeutically sound (not changes in treatment responses unless treatment provider recommends) 4/15/2017

9 Integrating Culture, Customs, & Traditions

10 Planning & Launching A Juvenile Wellness Court
Engage in Collaborative Planning & Design Identify Stakeholders Identify KEY stakeholders and include them in all process development Empower Individual Team Members Ensure that each individual feels empowered to participate in the process and has an active voice in development, process, and problem-solving strategies Build Bridges Across Agencies Build trust between agencies – emphasize common goals Be willing to share strengths and be willing to compromise and to adjust traditional strategies 4/15/2017

11 Composition of the Planning Team
Include representatives of all tribal and local community-based agencies that can provide support or that will be affected Judge Court Administrator Prosecutor or Presenting Officer Public Defender or Defense Counsel/Advocate Evaluator and/or MIS Specialist Probation Representatives School Representatives Social Services Representatives Law Enforcement Representatives Treatment Providers’ Representatives Representatives from other Community-based Organizations 4/15/2017

12 Composition of the Operational Team
Select team members who will work in the juvenile wellness court on a daily basis Wellness Court Judge Assigned Prosecutor or Presenting Officer Assigned Public Defender or Private Attorney/Advocate Wellness Court Coordinator Wellness Probation Officer Wellness Case Manager Wellness Treatment Provider Assigned Law Enforcement Officer Assigned Education Program Provider 4/15/2017

13 Funding Sources for Tribal Juvenile Wellness Courts
USDOJ, OJP, BJA – Adult Drug Court Discretionary Grant Program USDOJ, OJP, OJJDP – Juvenile Drug Courts/Reclaiming Futures Discretionary Grant Program USDOJ, OJP, ODDJP – Family Drug Court Programs Discretionary Grant Program DHHS, SAMHSA, Grants to Expand Substance Abuse Treatment Capacity in Adult, Juvenile, and Family Drug Courts Discretionary Grant Program USDOJ, Coordinated Tribal Assistance Solicitation 4/15/2017

14 16 Strategies of Successful Juvenile Wellness Courts
16 Strategies of Successful Juvenile Wellness Courts* (used in addition to “Key Components” for Juvenile Drug Courts) Collaborative Planning Teamwork Clearly Defined Target Population & Eligibility Criteria Judicial Involvement & Supervision Monitoring & Evaluation Community Partnership Comprehensive Treatment Planning Developmentally Appropriate Services Gender-Appropriate Services Cultural Competence Focus on Strengths Family Engagement Educational Linkages Drug Testing Goal-Oriented Incentives & Sanctions Confidentiality *Taken from “Juvenile Drug Courts: Strategies in Practice,” US DOJ BJA publication, NCJ (March 2003) Collaborative Planning - Engage all stakeholders in creating interdisciplinary, coordinated, and systemic approach to working with youth and their families. Teamwork – Develop and maintain an interdisciplinary, nonadversarial work team. Target Pop./Eligibility Criteria – Define a target population and eligibility criteria that are aligned with the program’s goals and objectives. Judicial Involvement/Supervision – Schedule frequent judicial reviews and be sensitive to the effect that court proceedings can have on youth and their families Monitoring/Evaluation – Establish a system for program monitoring and evaluation to maintain quality of service, assess program impact, and contribute to knowledge in the field. Community Partnerships – Build partnerships with community organizations to expand the range of opportunities available to youth and their families. Treatment Planning – Tailor interventions to the complex and varied needs of youth and their families. Developmentally Appropriate Services - Tailor treatment to the developmental needs of adolescents. Gender-Appropriate Services – Design treatment to address the unique needs of each gender. Cultural Competence – Create policies and procedures that are responsive to cultural differences and train personnel to be culturally competent. Focus on Strengths – Maintain a focus on the strengths of youth and their families during program planning and in every interaction between the court and those it serves. Family Engagement – Recognize and engage the family as a valued partner in all components of the program. Educational Linkages – Coordinate with the school system to ensure that each participant enrolls. Drug Testing – Design drug testing to be frequent, random, and observed. Goal Oriented Incentives & Sanctions – Respond to compliance and noncompliance with incentives and sanctions that are designed to reinforce or modify the behavior of youth and their families. Confidentiality – Establish a confidentiality policy and procedures that guard the privacy of the youth while allowing the drug court team to access key information. 4/15/2017

15 Resources Tribal Healing to Wellness Courts: The Key Components, Tribal Law & Policy Institute, Exploring the Evidence: The Value of Juvenile Drug Courts, Wormer & Lutze, Juvenile Justice & Family Justice Today, Summer 2011 Juvenile Drug Courts: Strategies in Practice, Bureau of Justice Assistance, NCJ197866 Managing and Sustaining Your Juvenile Drug Court, OJJDP, National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges Ensuring Fidelity to the Juvenile Drug Courts Strategies in Practice – A Program Component Scale, OJJDP, National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges Identifying Strengths as Fuel for Change: A Conceptual and Theoretical Framework for the Youth Competency Assessment, Burney-Nissen, Mackin, Weller, & Tarte, Juvenile and Family Court Journal, Winter 2005 4/15/2017

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