Juvenile Drug Court Advisory Committee
April 17, 2009
Hon. Karen Braaten
Hon. Donovan Foughty
Referee John Grinsteiner
Justice Mary Muehlen Maring
Hon. Douglas Mattson
Hon. David Nelson
Hon. Wade Webb
Dale Rivard moved to approve the minutes of March 6, 2008, and; seconded by Jennifer Liddle. Motion carried.
Sue Lass reported for the Fargo team. Fargo currently has 12 participants, five are employed, three are working on their GED, one completed his GED, one completed CNA training, and eight are in school. One graduation occurred since the last Advisory Committee meeting. The Fargo Police Department continues to mentor the participants. The officers and participants distributed Neighborhood Watch Flyers in October and participated in the Salvation Army Bell Ringing in December. They also shopped and prepared evening meals for those staying at the Ronald McDonald House. The Ronald McDonald Project continues on a monthly basis. Nicole Leitner, juvenile court officer, continues the Life Management Program for the participants.
The team has added Path IV to their program. Path IV will last 45 days and include two meetings with probation, tracking once a week, continuing treatment, establishment of home rules and report problems by parents, no RoboCUFF or court established curfew, court appearances at the discretion of the JDC team, and the setting of the participant's graduation date at the end of Path III, pending the successful completion of Path IV.
The Fargo Forestry Department continues its summer employment for the drug court participants. This will be the fourth season.
The team will celebrate their 9th anniversary on May 1, 2009.
Dale Rivard, Grand Forks team member, asked if the Fargo team had set RoboCUFF calls for each Path. Nicole Leitner stated that Path I includes four calls, Path II includes three calls, and Path III includes two calls. Additionally, calls are adjusted as needed for the participant.
Sherrice Roness reported for the Bismarck team. Tom Lamphear replaced Jackie Presley as the juvenile court officer on the Bismarck drug court team. Bismarck currently has three participants in its program and has had five graduations and three terminations since the last meeting.
A drawing for parents who attend the court sessions is held once a month. The parents receive a board game for their family or a gift card from a local restaurant. The Top Hat drawing for the participants is held once a month. The court has started rewarding the participants for reaching personal goals. These rewards are for behaviors such as no RoboCUFF violations, and school tardies. They are rewarded with small items such as pop or candy.
The team has invited a parent of a participant to attend the last 15 minutes of the staffing session to get input from the parent on their child. A Path IV has also been added to their program under the same concept as the Fargo drug court to make sure that the participants can make it in the community with less structure. The Life Skills Program continues to be run by a licensed addiction counselor.
The participants and team worked at Community Caring Day which is for homeless children in the Bismarck/Mandan area. The participants ran the carnival games for the children so parents could go through the booths. The homeless children received free haircuts, eye and medical check-ups, clothes, and supplies for school. The team and participants participated in the "Banquet" on Thursday nights once a month at the Trinity Lutheran Church. The "Banquet" is a meal for the homeless. The participants also worked at the Red Ribbon Carnival doing face painting, tattoos, and button making. They also helped prepare Christmas toy baskets for children in Solen, North Dakota, through the God's Child Project. The participants were also involved in sandbagging during the flood situation in the Bismarck/Mandan area.
Tracy Marback ask if the court found it difficult having their participants involved in all these activities and whether or not the participants are required to attend. The participants are required to attend and they have not had any problems. If court cannot be held the participant work on will have a project. The court operates every Thursday during the summer months. Life Skills is on every other Thursday after juvenile drug court from 5:00 to 7:00.
Tracy Marback reported for the Grand Forks team. Grand Forks currently has eight participants in the program, six are active. Grand Forks had three terminations and no graduations during this reporting period. All of the participants are in school and six are employed.
A parent incentive drawing is held each month at court along with the Top Hat drawing for the participants. The team has developed an Incentive Board and will try it for at least three months. The participants are able receive 65 points or more each week and can collect prizes once they reach 450 points. It has proven to be very competitive among the participants and the team is receiving positive feedback.
During the Christmas season, the participants participated in Bernie's Kids Project. Local underprivileged children each received $80 to shop for presents for their families. The drug court participants then wrapped all the presents for the children. The project was held at the local K-Mart and is a yearly program. The program receives $35,000 yearly for this project.
The Art Wise Program was recently held. Three nights out of the week, booths were set up and drug court participants worked two booths creating wood art and surprise art. The participants did well with these projects.
Drake Counseling has closed its juvenile services in Grand Forks and all of the drug court participants are now receiving treatment from the Northeast Human Service Center. The court is putting together a focus group meeting, which may start at the end of May. The focus group will meet with the participants that have completed treatment, one time a month, to see how things are going. This will be coordinated by an addiction counselor on the drug court team.
Grand Forks is planning to invite a parent to staffing to discuss their child's progress. This will start sometime in May. The drug court team and participants will hold their annual bowling tournament in May to celebrate their anniversary and National Drug Court Month. All the bowling is donated and Jimmy John's donates the food. They are also planning a day trip to Bismarck with the participants. It would be a history day and they would tour the Capitol, Heritage Center, and Fort Lincoln. The drug court team is also assessing its summer court schedule. In the past, drug court was held every other week, but problems arose with the participants. The court may consider one week off a month and the participants could participate in a group project for that week.
Valerie Potter reported for the Minot Team. Minot currently has four participants in juvenile drug court and two are employed. Christi Chole has replaced Les Malnaa as court officer on the drug court team.
A bowling pizza party was held this past winter with the team members and the participants. All the district court judges were in attendance. At Christmas time, the participants participated in bell ringing with the Salvation Army. They also participated in the Christmas Tree Project with the Salvation Army where the participants shopped for other teens.
The participants presented the Minot Homeless Coalition with the dishes they had made. The Homeless Coalition was extremely thankful. Minot continues to use the Incentive Board for their participants. The drug court team continues to meet with a different parent at the end of staffing.
Minot applied for two grants and received $500 from each of them. This money will be used for their incentive program. Drug court will be held every other week during the summer months. The participants will be working with the Roosevelt Park and Zoo every other week helping build a backyard habitat. They will be making signs, planting, and painting.
Katie Gendreau reported for the Williston team. Katie Gendreau has replaced Jack Colby as the coordinator. Williston currently has three participants, two are employed, all attending school and one graduated from the program. They have three prospective participants. The court has now been in operation for 16 months. They are inviting parents to sit in on a team staffing to discuss their child's progress in the drug court program.
Jerry Chapman has moved out of state and Chris Montgomery from the Northwest Human Service Center will fill the position. Chris was a member of the Bismarck juvenile drug court team. Chris is holding parent night at treatment and once a month a potluck is held to get the parents and participants involved. They are also starting a mentoring program. The drug court participants are very excited about this new program.
Cathy Wolfe reported for the Devils Lake team. The court thanks everyone for coming to Devils Lake and helping them get the court up and running. The first staffing was held on February 26, 2009, and the first drug court hearing was held on March 12, 2009. There are two participants and both are attending school.
Local organizations have been contacted for community service projects. The court has also brought in a parent each month when staffing their child. The court does have problems with transportation. A taxi picks up the parent and participant, but there are concerns for the children remaining at home. Other challenges are recruiting juvenile trackers with Lutheran Social Services. Transportation to the treatment provider will also be an issue.
Judge Foughty thanked Grand Forks and the other drug courts for their help in helping them with the start-up of their court.
Judges Caseload. Currently juvenile drug court is not counted on the weekly caseload for the judges. It is currently counted in the weighted caseload.
Judge Foughty was more concerned with the weighted caseload. The weighted caseload is a formula for deciding on how many judges a particular district needs. Judge Karen Braaten said that juvenile drug court cases should be counted just as they are for adult drug court. She is not concerned with her caseload, but believes it should be treated the same as adult drug court. If it is being counted on the adult drug court judges daily caseload, it should be counted on the juvenile drug court judges daily caseload.
John Grinsteiner agreed that all the cases should be counted in the weighted caseload. Judge Foughty expressed that it is important that the allocation of court cases within the district is fair. Marilyn will inform Justice Maring of the concerns. They will check to see if this is happening in all the districts.
Upper Midwest Drug Court Conference. John Grinsteiner stated that a drug court conference is planned to begin on October 14-16, starting at noon and ending at noon on October 16. Trainers and speakers from the National Drug Court Association will be attending and expenses will be shared with the National Drug Court Institute. John is recommending that everyone attend this conference. South Dakota, Montana, Minnesota, and Wyoming will be invited. There will be tracks for adult and juvenile drug courts.
Marilyn Moe stated that the North Dakota tribal court and college drug court will also be included. Expenses for juvenile drug court team members will be covered. Registration forms will be coming out in June.
RoboCUFF. Marilyn Moe stated that there are extra RoboCUFF hours to be used for the participants.
Detention. Marilyn Moe distributed Bill No. 2159. John Grinsteiner explained that this is an amendment to the 2007 Bill giving drug courts the ability to place drug court participants in detention. The amendment states that only delinquent offenders will be placed in detention. It states:
If a child is participating in a juvenile drug court program as a result of an adjudication for a delinquent offense, the drug court may order the child detained in a juvenile detention center operated pursuant to chapter 12-44-1. The child may be detained twice during the child's participation in the program but the total period of detention under this subsection may not exceed four days in a one-year period.
John Grinsteiner asked the committee for discussion on the detention issue and whether or not this could mean that only status offenders are admitted into drug court. Judge Braaten stated that Grand Forks does not use detention as a sanction. The only time it is used is when a Pick-Up and Hold Order is issued because the offender is in a danger or danger to themselves. They would have to appear in front of the magistrate the following day. The magistrate decides what to do with that child. Val Potter stated Minot does use detention and it has proven to be very effective for their court. Deb Carlson questioned the group on not helping a child in drug court because you couldn't punish them with detention. John Grinsteiner agrees with that comment and the Bismarck team would not deny access to anyone because they could not use detention as a sanction. Bismarck does use detention but uses it sparingly. John Grinsteiner expressed that the courts should be mindful of the detention amendment so that funds are not lost for the state. Marilyn Moe asked if it could possibly change the way the participants are referred into juvenile court. Nicole Leitner stated that if they have a person come in on informal probation and one count is a delinquency, and if the person reoffends and the new offense is an unruly, she has encouraged the court officers to bring the informal/formal along with it. This gives Fargo the ability to use detention if needed.
Incentive solicitation by coordinators. John Grinsteiner stated at the last committee meeting, there was a discussion that judges are not allowed to request incentives. There was a concern about coordinators soliciting for incentives because they are employed by the judicial branch. Marilyn did discuss the issue with the coordinators in Washington, D.C. A coordinator may solicit incentives because they are not under the direct supervision of a judge. Val Potter asked the other coordinators if they are constantly looking for dollars to support their incentives. She asked if they are the only one on their team who does presentations or if it is a collaborative effort with other team members. Sherrice Ronness stated that other team members do go out and do presentations. Team members have spoken at area schools and organizations and do ask for incentives. The judge does not participate in those events. John Grinsteiner talked about being creative for incentives.
Vacant Committee Member. Ron Carlisle resigned from the advisory committee. Justice Maring asked for suggestions at the last meeting. An invitation was extended to Senator Larry Robinson and he has accepted. He could not be at the meeting today because the Senate is in session.
Proposal for Land Lines. At the last committee meeting a motion was made to provide for land lines. Deb Carlson prepared a proposal for drug courts to pay for telephones for those unable to pay. Marilyn Moe presented the proposal to Sally Holewa, State Court Administrator, and Chief Justice VandeWalle. Marilyn Moe reported the proposal was denied. She suggested using the low income programs with Qwest and other special telephone programs on tribal lands. Most of the courts have said that a participant must have a land line to participate in drug court and have not had a problem. Discussion continued on the different ways to track the participants. Deb Carlson stated that there is a new technology where an ankle bracelet keeps the data on a person and whether or not they step out of a zone. Jennifer Liddle said that they are in contact with a dealer for this system.
The North Dakota Association Drug Court Professionals will have a meeting at the Upper Midwest Drug Court Conference. The board is meeting next Wednesday in Fargo. The scholarship awards will be decided at that time.
The next meeting date is October 15, 2009, at the Upper Midwest Drug Court Training Conference.
The meeting was adjourned.