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After a presentation on Healing to Wellness Courts in January 2016, the Consortium formed a small Drug Court Committee to promote the continued use and expansion of State Drug Courts and Tribal Healing to Wellness Courts around the State.
Healing to Wellness Courts are similar to Drug Courts in that they are both aimed at assisting non-violent addicted criminal offenders to get clean and become better community members. This is accomplished by diverting criminal defendants from the typical criminal justice system into these specialty “courts” which are essentially stringent outpatient treatment programs that typically take a year to complete.
In 2015 the Committee met twice and informally met at the quarterly Consortium meetings. The Committee generated a memorandum in support of Tribal Healing to Wellness Courts.
Plans for 2016
During 2016 the Committee will be working on the following:
- A memorandum of support of Drug Courts and Healing to Wellness Court for proposed adoption by the Consortium. This will include a review of procedures and proposed adoption of uniform standards, recommendations regarding state/tribal collaboration to allow transfer of criminal defendants to courts based on their residence location, and statistics showing the success of Drug Courts and Healing to Wellness Courts.
- Identify and publish to the Consortium potential funding sources to support Drug Courts and Healing to Wellness Courts.
National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges in partnership with the National Juvenile Defender Center, this bench card highlights due process and the right to counsel; ethical standards; and key elements of ensuring meaningful access to counsel for juveniles at the initial appointment.