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Tribal Juvenile Wellness Courts. Tribal Law & Policy Institute. 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

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tribal juvenile wellness courts

Tribal Juvenile Wellness Courts

Tribal Law & Policy Institute

history of juvenile drug courts
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
how a juvenile drug court works
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

how juvenile drug courts are different from adult drug courts
How Juvenile Drug Courts Are DifferentFrom 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
goal oriented incentives sanctions i ss
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)
planning launching a juvenile wellness court
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
composition of the planning team
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
composition of the operational team
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
funding sources for tribal juvenile wellness courts
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
slide14
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 197866 (March 2003)

resources
Resources
  • Tribal Healing to Wellness Courts: The Key Components, Tribal Law & Policy Institute, www.tlpi.org
  • 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
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