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Judge Dorothy Nash-Holmes

Specialty Court



This newsletter is focusing on Dorothy Nash-Holmes in Dept 3 and her specialty courts. I say courts because she has three dockets.

  • Co-Occurring disorders. (COD)
  • The TRAIN program (Treatment Resources Alliance Individualized Need)
  • DUI-Drug Court

Intercept has been apart of Judge Nash-Holmes court for the last three years, and during that time we have seen it grow. We have also heard a lot of positive feedback from the participants in her program.


Q: Tell me about your court and the guidelines?

"I try to focus on the high risk and high needs people. This usually means a serious addiction and prior involvement in the criminal justice system. In COD court there are usually 40-50 people at a time in the program and candidates must have an Axis-1 disorder. Thirty-nine people have graduated since the program started in February 2011. The Train Court focuses on the downtown drunks who are homeless and are "frequent flyers" into our jail's and hospital ERs. There are usually 10-15 participants in this program at a time. These individuals never really graduate, they just get to stop coming to court after one year with mostly no violations. They get a certificate of appreciation and congratulations for reaching that phase of their program. If they get arrested on a new offense we start over again. The DUI program is a 12-18 month program (longer for 2nd DUIs) and there have been seventy-five people who have graduated so far.


An Axis-1 Disorder is considered a mental disorder. Common Axis 1 disorders include: Bipolar disorder, Schizophrenia, Anxiety, depression and learning disabilities.


Judge Nash-Holmes
Graduation Video



When asked what her biggest challenge has been she says:


"Funding is the biggest challenge since Nevada has few treatment beds for inpatient and almost no source of funding other than grants for these special programs. When I first started (11/10/10) there were eighty-five people or so in one DUI program. This past year Judge Howard and I saw 255 people and my overall specialty court caseload has almost tripled in three years."


Q: In which ways has Intercept helped your court?

Intercept has been a reliable partner and is always ready to serve when the court asks. Judge Howard and I both use electronic monitoring extensively and Intercept has helped the court with price consideration, which helps taxpayers and reduces the load on grant funds. Electronic monitoring also saves our marshals from having to do daily testing and check-ins with each offender; their caseloads are just too high for that. It enables our participants to work or go to school while pursuing their recovery in our programs."


Q: What is the most rewarding part of your specialty court and how has it impacted you personally?

The joy of seeing people reclaim their lives is the reward for me. We have people who have been reunited with family, got their kids back, got jobs, enrolled in school and gave birth to clean babies. It can be a long and painful process to pursue recovery but we develop a sense of family and we all share in both the accomplishments and failures of each participant. Treatment works and it is more cost effective than pure incarceration, probation without treatment is a dismal failure. We need all the pieces to make this work."


RenoCares Fund

Through Reno Cares, the Reno Municipal Court assists in paying for substance abuse counseling, psychological or psychiatric services and related costs for adults convicted of misdemeanors who cannot afford those services. You can help keep treatment available to those who desperately need it by giving to the RenoCares Fund.


The Community Foundation of Western Nevada (CFWN) IRS #88-0370179 administers the RenoCares Fund. You can go to the website to give a gift to the RENOCARES Fund or send a check made out to "RenoCares Fund" to the Community Foundation at 1885 S. Arlingt6on Ave., Suite #103, Reno, NV 

If you have someone you think should be acknowledged or spotlighted in our newsletter please contact:
Marion Straw 775-323-8273