Justice Mary Muehlen Maring, Chair
Referee John Grinsteiner
Hon. Donovan Foughty
Hon. Karen Braaten
Hon. Steve McCollough
Hon. Richard Hagar
Hon. Douglas Mattson
Hon. David Nelson
The Juvenile Drug Court Advisory Committee met by Interactive Video Network, on April 8, 2011. The meeting was called to order by Chair Justice Mary Muehlen Maring.
Judge Braaten moved to approve the minutes of October 11, 2010, and Judge McCullough seconded. Motion Carried.
Trudy Dick reported for the Devils Lake Team. Devils Lake currently has four participants in its program and has had two graduations and one termination since October 2010. Three new referrals are being screened for the program. Two participants from the Spirit Lake Reservation currently participate in the program.
Karen Olson spoke of the collaboration efforts taking place with two tribal judges to discuss a joint juvenile/tribal drug court. Lutheran Social Services has two trackers that will track on the reservation and, hopefully, Spirit Lake will be able to provide a probation officer.
The court has excellent participation since requiring the parents attendance in court. Karen Olson said they had received a letter from a mother of a participant from Spirit Lake complimenting them on the court and how much it is helping her daughter. A new treatment provider and drug court coordinator have joined the Devils Lake team.
The team and participants were involved in the State Special Olympics Basketball Tournament. In conjunction with April being Prevent Child Abuse Month, Devils Lake juvenile drug court participants made fleece blankets for the children taken into protective custody. On April 28, 2011, a Social Service representative will make a presentation to the participants on the process of taking a child into protective custody.
Karen Olson spoke of the Devils Lake Drug Court Program celebrating two years and felt that the program has been very successful. Justice Maring complimented Devils Lake on their success and expressed her excitement on starting a joint tribal/state juvenile drug court.
John Grinsteiner reported for the Bismarck Team. Bismarck currently has seven active participants in the program. There were no terminations and five graduations since their last report in October.
Court officer, Tom Lamphear, informed the committee that Linda McHenry from Isecure contacted him recently. Isecure will announce within the next week that MEMMS will now operate with a cell phone. Tom will keep the other drug courts informed when the cell phones are added.
Centre Inc. is no longer used to facilitate community service projects for the Bismarck Juvenile Drug Court. Sherrice Roness, coordinator, oversees all individual and group projects. The team and participants were involved in community service projects such as Carrie’s Kids, Soup Café, Red Ribbon Carnival, Angel Tree Program, The Banquet, and provided turkey meals for families during Thanksgiving.
The team and participants will celebrate drug court month with their annual bowling party. The participants work with Shannon Huber every other week for the Life Skills Program.
Judge Braaten asked the Bismarck team members how they are funding the Life Skills Program. Marilyn Moe explained that the coordinator’s contract is paid for out of the Bismarck drug court budget.
Bridget Hill reported for the Grand Forks team. The program currently has eight participants. They have had four terminations and six graduations since our last meeting in October. Bridget Hill has been hired as the new coordinator for the Grand Forks Juvenile Drug Court and Kim Schnack will replace Jennifer Liddle as the new court officer. Travis Jacobson has joined the team representing the Grand Forks law enforcement.
The participants were involved in the Bernie’s Kids project where they wrapped presents for the Christmas season. Some of the participants helped with the Art Wise Project. The participants will be involved in a pottery project for the summer. The pottery project will be held once a month and court sessions will be held the remainder of the month.
Judge Braaten expressed that she felt the court was going well. The court had taken quite a few high-risk participants last year and ended up terminating most of them. The team has been screening referrals for the program.
Valerie Potter reported for the Minot team. The Minot program currently has five participants. Since October, there have been four graduations and one termination.
The drug court team and participants took a first aid and CPR class. The participants had a busy winter with community service projects, including providing a Thanksgiving meal for a family, bell ringing for the Salvation Army, and working at the Hostfest. A bowling party was held in January and Pin-Head Awards were awarded to the top bowlers and the bowlers with the biggest and smallest shoe sizes.
The team met in February and March to go through the Juvenile Drug Court Program Manual and handbook.
During the summer months, court sessions will be held three times a month and the participants will provide community service at the Roosevelt Park Zoo once a month.
Val Potter has been in contact with Sherrice Roness, Bismarck Juvenile Drug Court, to learn more about Bismarck’s Life Skills Program. Minot hopes to incorporate a similar program.
Scott Hopwood asked the committee members about procedures for termination from their juvenile drug court programs. John Grinsteiner stated that Bismarck’s participants’ terminations are usually decided by a vote at staffing. The judge does not vote in the process. The participant and parents are notified and a termination hearing is held within seven days. The participant and parents are advised to talk with their defense counsel during this time. At the termination hearing, the State’s Attorney presents the facts for the termination, defense counsel presents any changes, and the judge makes the decision. Since Bismarck has started this termination procedure, three participants were terminated and one participant was allowed to stay in the program. The revocation hearing is in front of a different judge or referee. Justice Maring asked if any of the other courts are holding termination hearings. Judge McCullough from Fargo said, in his court, the participant is given the opportunity to talk, but they do not hold a separate hearing. He also said the participants are given several weeks before terminating. Val Potter asked if Grand Forks Juvenile Drug Court is still using the Last Chance Contract. Judge Braaten said they do use it, but not in every case. When it is used, the participant is terminated immediately after the next offense. Judge Braaten also commented that in Grand Forks, it is a team consensus if that participant is going to be terminated.
Scott Hopwood reported for the Williston team. The Williston Juvenile Drug Court has been on hold since October 2010. They have not had a participant in the program since May of 2010. The program was placed on hold because of lack of referrals and it did not have either a juvenile court officer or a law enforcement officer. The team met recently and plans to begin operation sometime late summer. Peter Furseth, defense counsel, will be replaced by Jake Marburger. They will receive further training before restarting the court.
Marilyn Moe received a telephone call from the National Association of Drug Court Professionals in regards to a new Juvenile Tune-Up Training. The training is a two-day team training and NADCP would provide the presenters and would come to North Dakota for the training. Marilyn will check with Carolyn Hardin from NADCP to get more details.
Judge McCullough reported for the Fargo team. The Fargo program currently has nine participants. They have had one termination and no graduations since October. There are two graduations pending. One participant was released because the participant moved out of Fargo. They are scheduled to have two graduations in December, 2011.
The participants were involved in bell ringing for the Salvation Army. Law Enforcement Officer, Terry Styf, helped with this project. In January, Betty Thomas, a past graduate’s mother, was invited to talk with the participants and team. Betty’s son was a past graduate of the drug court program and who died of a meth overdose. The presentation was video taped and Judge McCullough will send a copy to Marilyn so the other drug courts can view.
The participants have been involved in sandbagging around Fargo. The participants will be spending time learning about resume building and preparing for an interview. They will also continue the Life Management Program with Nicole Leitner. The team held a retreat to go through the Juvenile Drug Court Program Manual and materials. Fargo has made changes in sanctioning. Sanctions are more progressive if they do not tell the truth. The Fargo team has created a Fish Bowl for quarterly drawings for participants who have done well in the program. A few of the participants will work at the City of Fargo Forestry Project for the summer months.
Judge McCullough spoke of the team’s frustrations with the delays on confirmations from Redwood Toxicology. The Cass County Sheriff’s Department is considering buying a desktop drug/alcohol testing device. This would give the opportunity for both adult and juvenile drug courts and the adult and juvenile probation to use the machine. It would be housed at the sheriff’s office and an officer would be trained to operate the machine. The actual cost of the machine is $57,000 or they could lease it. The company they are working with is the Seimens Company. If they lease the machine, the testing costs will be higher. Tom Lamphear asked if the machine tests for prescription drugs. Judge McCullough said it does. It is a urine sample.
Legislation Update - Justice Maring appeared before the House Judiciary and Senate Education Committee in regards to House Bill 1086. This Bill would amend N.D.C.C. §15.1-19-13. Alcohol or controlled substance - Use or possession by student - Notification of principal - Exception. This amendment simply provides that a teacher or administrator who participates in a juvenile drug court program and receives confidential information regarding a student as a result of participation in the program, shall not notify the student’s principal. The amendment has passed both the House and Senate and is before Governor Dalyrmple.
National Drug Court Institute Webinar - Brad Peterson, Mikayla Jablonski, and Marilyn Moe participated in a webinar with William Meyers, retired judge. The webinar was on the latest case law. The session emphasized participants’ rights and the need to be cautious with regard to due process protections.
Reentry - The Bismarck team talked about enrolling a past graduate who had relapsed back into the program and asked for the committee’s comments. Judge Braaten stated that the situation should be considered on an individual basis and the JDC Program Manual does not appear to prohibit a team from doing so. The manual states that a participant who has been terminated from the program is not allowed to participate in the program again. Val Potter said she did not believe a participant should be allowed back into the program. There are many areas to decide prior to taking the juvenile back into the program. Justice Maring indicated the manual does not prohibit reentry, but she questioned whether a participant who fails should be allowed back. The committee decided that if reentry is to be allowed, the conditions should be outlined in the program manual eligibility criteria. The Bismarck team will research the issue.
Juvenile Drug Court Program Manual - A committee was established to go over the suggestions for the Juvenile Drug Court Program Manual. The committee members are: Brad Peterson Sean Anderson, Val Potter, John Grinsteiner, Dale Rivard, Deb Davis, Kim Hegvik, Tom Lamphear, and Marilyn Moe.
Upper Midwest Drug Court Conference - Marilyn Moe reported that most of the presenters for the upcoming conference on October 12-14, 2011, have been filled. The conference will run from noon, October 12, 2011, through noon, October 14, 2011.
Justice Maring thanked the committee for their hard work.
Detention Study - Karen Kringlie reported that Dr. Kevin Thompson has been contracted to complete a five-year detention study. The study will include records of juvenile drug court participants and juvenile court referrals. The study is planned to be completed by July 1, 2011.
Justice Maring has appeared before the House and Senate Appropriations Committee and has received excellent support from our legislators. She encourages all team members to thank our state legislators and congressional delegation for their strong support for drug courts.
John Grinsteiner announced that the North Dakota Drug Court Professionals Association dues of $25 are due. The Association will meet during the drug court conference in October. The Association will announce the two college scholarship winners from the adult and juvenile drug courts. Josh Maynard has the Association’s website operational. John encouraged everyone to send Josh pictures and updates to their courts. The annual deadline for the scholarship applications is January 31st. There is also an opening for a position on the Association board.
Next meeting: The next Advisory meeting will be held on October 28, 2011. It will be held through IVN and Marilyn Moe will send out notices.