Newsletter
August 2021
What's Happening at NDCRC?
The NDCRC announces the “Do Better” campaign!

What does “Do Better” mean? Dr. Kristen DeVall, NDCRC Co-director, and Dr. Jeanne Persuit, NDCRC Director of Marketing and Communications, explain the background of our NDCRC motto, “Do Better,” in the video below. Our Do Better campaign will provide new content and resources on our website and social media. We look forward to continuing the conversation about what “Do Better” means to you!
NDCRC at RISE21

The NDCRC is attending NADCP’s RISE21 conference August 15-18! Be sure to stop by our booth, pick up your NDCRC swag, and talk to us about how we can all “Do Better.” We’re excited to meet you!
Website Walk-through

If you’ve visited our website, you know that it contains a lot of information! To help you navigate through all of our resources, we’ve created a video walk-through to show you what we have to offer. Take a peek to see what you could be missing!
Beyond the Field
Each month the NDCRC will feature a topic relevant to the work of treatment courts. This information is designed to give you “food for thought” regarding your treatment court program's structure and operations and provide supporting multimedia resources.
The Science of Conducting Successful Meetings

Sally MacKain, Ph.D., LP; NDCRC Director of Clinical Treatment

How many hours per week do you spend in meetings? Is it time well spent? Do you leave meetings with a sense of a way forward? Frustration? Could your team use a meetings “tune-up”? Workplace meetings are a mainstay of all organizations. For treatment court teams, regular pre-court staff meetings are required as a Best Practice (NADCP, 2018). But teams engage other meetings as well, including those with community stakeholders, program evaluation and planning, and others.

Industrial/organizational (I/0) psychologists Joseph Mroz and colleagues reviewed over 200 empirical studies of meetings in their article “Do we really need another meeting? The science of workplace meetings” (Mroz, Allen, Verhoeven & Shuffler, 2018). They identify worthy goals and provide specific recommendations for conducting successful meetings.

Nationally, they note, the average employee spends 6 hours per week in meetings, and that half of those meetings are rated as “poor” by those who attend. For most organizations, there is a clear need to revisit current practices and consider improvements. Mroz and colleagues identify four primary purposes of meetings:

1) Information Sharing;
2) Problem solving and decision making,
3) to develop and implement organizational strategies, and
4) to debrief a team after particular events.

They recommend that care should be taken before, during and after meetings to facilitate positive outcomes. For example, before a meeting, attendees should have read the agenda, be prepared and arrive on time. The agenda should list clear goals and outcomes and be realistic in terms of allotted time. During meetings, leaders should make the meeting short, and relevant. Humor and laughter can stimulate positive behaviors, but complaining leads to poor performance. Leaders should also intervene when communication becomes dysfunctional or off-track. A clear agenda as described above can go a long way toward mitigating these issues. By the same token, leaders should attend to perceptions of fairness and encourage participation from all attendees. After meetings, effective leaders send out action items and minutes and seek feedback about how others perceived the meeting, to improve the process. 
While many of these recommendations seem obvious, researchers have objectively analyzed the costs, interpersonal conflicts, and inefficiencies that arise when these recommendations are not followed. The authors describe a problematic dynamic noted in a study by Simone Kauffeld and Nale Lehmann-Willenbrock, that many readers may find familiar:

When one person starts to complain in a meeting by expressing so-called “killer phrases” that reflects futility or an unchangeable state (e.g., “nothing can be done about that issue” or “nothing works”) other meeting attendees being to complain, which begins a complaining cycle that can reduce group outcomes (p. 488).

This “cycle” is common among professionals in human services fields, and while realism and pragmatism are valuable, pessimism can be contagious and toxic. This is one of the major challenges in treatment court work—even when participants behave in ways that look like “giving up,” staff would do well to convey a sense of hope in how they conduct themselves in meetings.

References
Mroz, J. E., Allen, J. A., Verhoeven, D. C., & Shuffler, M. L. (2018). Do we really need another meeting? The science of workplace meetings. Current Directions in Psychological Science, 27(6), 484–491. https://doi.org/10.1177/0963721418776307
Monthly Highlights
Telebehavioral Health Services: Planning and Investing for the Future of Your Services

Join SAMHSA’s Mental Health Technology Transfer Center Network for the remainder of their webinar series on sustainable telebehavioral health services.

August 4, 2021 12:00PM - 1:00PM ET

August 11, 2021 12:00PM - 1:00PM ET

August 18, 2021 12:00PM - 1:00PM ET

Check the NDCRC calendar to register for these events and see other learning opportunities!
TTA Collaborative Updates
National Association of Drug Court Professionals
RISE21 is August 15-18!

NADCP’s RISE21 is the preeminent conference on addiction, mental health, and justice reform. RISE21 will be held in person August 15-18 at the Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center in National Harbor, Maryland. Attendees can earn up to 24.5 hours of continuing education, with in-demand topics such as equity and inclusion, alternatives to jail sanctions, legalized marijuana and treatment courts, law enforcement–specific sessions, veteran-focused sessions, star-studded ceremonies, the RISE Film Festival, and much more!
Center for Court Innovation
Acknowledging Who Your Courthouse Serves: A Conversation with Dr. Anton Treuer

In this video interview with CCI, Dr. Anton Treuer, Professor of Ojibwe at Bemidji State University, discusses the role of bias in the justice system and its impact on Native Americans. He talks about some of the recent initiatives in Beltrami County and we hear from Judge Paul Benshoof about the introduction of tribal flags in the domestic violence court. Dr. Treuer addresses ways in which court staff and others working in the justice system can have frank conversations about bias and historical trauma, and incorporate cultural elements into services for survivors and people who cause harm.
Tribal Law & Policy Institute
In partnership with TLPI, the NDCRC is conducting the first biennial survey of Tribal Healing to Wellness Courts (THWC) in the nation. The purpose of this survey is to better understand how THWCs are structured, how they operate, the outcomes produced, challenges experienced, resources needed, etc. Given that very little is known about THWCs across the U.S., this survey is an attempt to fill the knowledge gap. Moreover, these data will allow us to determine the number of individuals participating in these programs nationally and identify and monitor trends within the field. If your THWC has not received an invitation to participate in this survey, please contact the NDCRC at ndcrc@uncw.edu.
Featured State
California
Beginning this year, The California Collaborative Court Data Improvement Project will overhaul California’s data collection practices. The project includes an evaluation of data collection needs and case management systems, issues of rural courts, and the implementation of a digital information repository and communications hub. The project is funded by a grant from the Bureau of Justice Assistance. Read about the project in more detail here.
In Other News
The Northern Mariana Islands have established a new Mental Health Treatment docket operating within their existing general docket.

Tennessee has passed the Alternatives to Incarceration Act, expanding Tennessee’s recovery courts to include those with misdemeanor assaults and giving more power to judges to divert appropriate candidates into treatment courts.

OJJDP announces three Data Snapshots from the Performance-based Standards (PbS) Learning Institute summarizing the impact of COVID-19 in juvenile justice facilities. The snapshots highlight information collected in April 2021 about COVID-19 positivity test rates, prevention practices, and average daily population.