June 2021
What's Happening at NDCRC?
New! Justice to Healing Episode

In the second episode of the Justice to Healing series on the state of the treatment court field, hosts Kristen DeVall, Ph.D. & Christina Lanier, Ph.D. welcome NDCI’s Director of Juvenile Training and Technical Assistance Dr. Jacqueline van Wormer as they discuss the history of juvenile drug treatment courts, the differences between traditional juvenile justice and the JDTC model, brain development in youth, measuring success in programs, and more.
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.
Traumatic Brain Injury and Treatment Courts

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

A client continually misses appointments, drug tests and curfews. Another has no insight into their problems and repeatedly puts themselves in dangerous situations. Another can’t focus in group treatment and interrupts with off-topic, embarrassing comments. Another is irritable and gets angry quickly. Are these signs of long-term substance use? Mental illness? Traumatic brain injury (TBI)? It could be any and all of these, as they frequently co-occur.

Treatment courts target people with mental health and substance use challenges, but TBI and its long-term impacts are often “off the radars” of court professionals and providers. Lasting effects of TBIs can be easily mistaken for “personality problems” or intense resistance to treatment. The prevalence of TBIs among treatment court clients is unknown, but they are common in the justice system, resulting from accidents, falls, fights, domestic violence, and military service (CDC, 2010).

So, can people with a TBI benefit from treatment court programs? The structure, predictability and case management support that treatment courts provide can make it a good fit, especially if the team is knowledgeable and adapts their practices to meet client needs. Veteran’s Courts are especially aware of these issues, and trainings are periodically offered (check the calendar).

But you don’t need to wait: three online guides for substance use treatment, criminal justice, and mental health professionals are listed below and offer strategies for assessing the impact of TBIs and for adapting daily practices and services. Adaptations include using visual aids, patiently repeating information, slowing down interactions, demonstrating self-regulation skills, and tailoring clients’ environments for reminders. Trauma-informed care in this case requires that teams be aware of the cognitive, emotional and behavioral challenges that can persist well beyond the initial injury, and a willingness to respond with compassion--even though it can be very challenging.

Centers for Disease Control, (2010). Traumatic Brain Injury: A Guide for Criminal Justice Professionals.

Center for Substance Abuse Treatment. (2010). Treating Clients With Traumatic Brain Injury. Substance Abuse Treatment Advisory, Volume 9, Issue 2.

Struchen, M.A, Davis, L.C., McCauley, S.R, Clark, A.N., (2009). Guidebook for Psychologists: Working with Clients with Traumatic Brain Injury. Baylor College of Medicine.
Funding Opportunities Deadline: June 15, 2021
JustGrants Application Deadline: June 29, 2021 Deadline: June 22, 2021
JustGrants Application Deadline: July 6, 2021 Deadline: June 22, 2021
JustGrants Application Deadline: July 6, 2021
TTA Collaborative Updates
National Association of Drug Court Professionals
NADCP Releases MOUD Toolkit

A new toolkit from NADCP offers practical resources to help treatment courts implement medication for opioid use disorder (MOUD) into their programs in accordance with scientific knowledge, treatment court best practices, and emerging legal precedent. The toolkit is intended for treatment courts implementing or preparing to implement MOUD into their program. The toolkit includes three model memoranda of understanding, two letter templates, and an informational brochure for treatment court participants and their loved ones.
Juvenile Drug Treatment Court Project

We need your help! The NDCRC is collaborating with NADCP and NDCI on the Juvenile Treatment Court Project to develop a national map of Juvenile Drug Treatment Courts. To be included in this project, we’re asking Juvenile Drug Treatment Courts to complete this questionnaire before June 10. Questions can be directed to
Center for Court Innovation
Focusing on Family Safety: How a Family Court in Minneapolis Strengthened its Response to Domestic Violence

In Hennepin County, the family court created a project to address several key and unmet needs. To ensure family safety, the court began screening for and addressing domestic violence in custody/visitation and child support cases. The project also looked to enhance access and improve the court experience for all litigants. It specifically sought to rebuild trust with the Native American community who were not accessing the court system. After judicial listening sessions, the court hired a tribal state liaison and introduced a number of changes to improve the process. Learn more about these innovations in this new video from CCI.
Tribal Law & Policy Institute

Supported by the Bureau of Justice Assistance, this publication is intended to assist Tribal Healing to Wellness Courts interested in building intergovernmental collaborations, including tribal-state collaborations. Whether a Wellness Court has been operational for decades or is still in the planning process, collaboration is essential. This resource frames the subject by providing a brief history of Tribal Healing to Wellness Courts, discusses some common traits found in existing collaborations, and then uses those common traits to discuss actual collaborations that are operating in the Tribal Wellness Court context.

Be sure to check out previous Tribal Healing to Wellness Court publications as well.

Friday, June 25, 2021 at 12:15pm AKT / 1:15pm PT / 2:15pm MT / 3:15pm CT / 4:15pm ET

Presented by Lauren van Schilfgaarde, Director, Tribal Legal Development Clinic, UCLA School of Law

The maze of jurisdiction often means that tribes have limited authority to meaningfully serve their communities. But in partnership, tribal and state jurisdictions can leverage their resources, ensure holistic case planning, and provide restorative accountability. The Healing to Wellness Court, an intentional deviation from the compartmentalized, adversarial, offense-centric approach, provides an apt opportunity for innovation in collaboration. This workshop will explore ways in which tribes have experimented with their neighbors and strategies for building collaborative infrastructures.
Featured State

In early 2018, the Maryland Judiciary, in collaboration with the National Center for State Courts (NCSC), began the process of developing performance measures for Maryland’s mental health courts. The performance measures were developed through a series of visits to mental health courts in Maryland to gather data and engage mental health court teams regarding current practice, policies and outcomes. After several months of work, the performance measures were completed, and in January 2019, the report Maryland Mental Health Court Performance Measures was released. Learn more about the work Maryland is doing to improve their courts.
In Other News
After more than 140 opioid doses per person were shipped to Huntington City and Cabell County, WV from 2006 to 2014, the county has filed a lawsuit against three major pharmaceutical distributors. The West Virginia case is the first of 3,000 consolidated lawsuits to go to trial. 
A new law awaiting the Florida governor’s signature may restrict access to treatment courts for Veterans. If passed, the law would give the power of treatment diversion to the state attorney’s office rather than leaving it in the hands of judges.

Individual cities and counties in Washington state are left to their own enforcement in the wake of the state supreme court’s decision that possession of controlled substances will no longer be classified as a felony. State and local governments may look to re-criminalize possession of controlled substances as a misdemeanor.