Seven Seas Inn, Mandan, North Dakota
October 15, 2009
Justice Mary Muehlen Maring, Chair
Hon. Donovan Foughty
Hon. Wade Webb
Referee John Grinsteiner
Referee Susan Thomas
Hon. Karen Braaten
Hon. Doug Mattson
Hon. David Nelson
Hon. Larry Robinson
Lee Ann Birkland
The Juvenile Drug Court Advisory Committee met at the Seven Seas Inn, Mandan, North Dakota, on October 15, 2009. The meeting was called to order by Chair Justice Mary Muehlen Maring.
Dale Rivard moved to approve the minutes of April 17, 2009, and Deborah Davis seconded. Motion carried.
Holly Webster reported for the Williston team. Williston currently has four participants in the program. There has been one graduation and one termination in this reporting period. All the participants are attending school.
The court is rewarding the parents with a parent drawing each month, and the participants are eligible for a Fish Bowl drawing if they have a perfect week.
The court is requiring each participant to complete a Leave Form before requesting an out-of-town visit. Williston will send a copy of its form to Marilyn Moe for distribution to the other coordinators.
Sherrice Roness reported for the Bismarck team. Bismarck currently has five participants in its program and has had two terminations this reporting period. There are two referrals pending.
The participants continue to attend the Life Skills Program. The Grand Forks participants and two staff members joined the Bismarck participants and staff for a pizza picnic in Bismarck. The two groups then visited Fort Lincoln where the participants and staff helped with a painting project.
The Bismarck participants and staff completed their yearly project at the Bismarck Zoo where they painted and cleaned animal areas. The participants and staff also joined the community in working at the Day of Caring. The Day of Caring is a free program for the homeless in the community where the homeless have the opportunity to receive services and good such as haircuts, dental and eye exams, and backpacks for the school age children. In addition, during the downtown street fair, the participants blocked off streets and set up garbage cans. The Bismarck Juvenile Drug Court has established a partnership with the City of Bismarck. Future projects will be planned.
Bismarck has a new school representative, Steve Schultz, Bismarck High School.
The scholarship winner from the North Dakota Drug Court Association observed juvenile drug court and received a plaque from John Grinsteiner, President of the Association. She was a graduate of the Bismarck Juvenile Drug Court and was awarded a $500 scholarship. She spoke to the Bismarck participants about her experience in drug court at the Life Skills Program.
John Grinsteiner expressed that the team is working on developing meaningful community service projects for the participants and also finding new skills for the participants to learn. The team members want the participants to feel proud of a project that they have completed.
Dale Rivard asked the Bismarck team what sanction they use for participants who decide not to show up for special projects. John Grinsteiner explained when a participant is assigned community service hours or a special project at the weekly court session, the participant is required to complete the hours by the next court session. Hours are doubled if a participant fails to complete the assigned hours or show up for the special project.
Sherrice Roness explained that taking away a participant's cell phone on the spot has been an extremely effective sanction. She explained that when a participant continually receives community service and has a large number of hours accumulated, the participant may give up. The Committee discussed potential privacy issues relating to cell phones. The team explained its understanding that privacy issues are part of the probation order.
Jennifer Liddle reported for the Grand Forks team. Grand Forks currently has ten participants in the program. All participants are attending school and three of them are employed. Grand Forks has had no terminations and has had two graduations during this reporting period. The team and participants held their yearly bowling tournament in May. During the Special Olympics, the participants helped set up for the bocce ball tournament.
Two participants were recognized in the Grand Forks Herald for doing a terrific job on the Red River Cleanup. Grand Forks has also started an Incentive Board for the participants. It went into effect this summer.
The participants will be involved in the Bernie's Kids Project this Christmas. The participants and team members will be wrapping Christmas presents.
Ruth Jenny has replaced John Thelen as defense counsel on the Grand Forks Juvenile Drug Court team.
Lisa Nihill reported for the Devils Lake team. Devils Lake drug court has had three participants since the start of their court in March. Two have been terminated and one is presently in treatment. Judge Foughty said it has been a learning experience, and he will now look for support in the participant's home setting before accepting a participant into drug court. The Devils Lake team has also decided to focus on the younger participants.
The committee members provided encouragement to the Devils Lake team. The Devils Lake team thanked the other teams for all the help with their program.
Team members and two participants attended the Red Road Conference at Spirit Lake Reservation in the late spring. Community service projects were completed with the Salvation Army and recently the team and participants completed a two-mile cleanup with the Knights of Columbus.
The drug court team is traveling to Grand Forks next week to meet with the Grand Forks drug court team. They will discuss their roles, accepting referrals, staffing, and court.
Christi Chole reported for the Minot Team. Minot currently has three participants in juvenile drug court and two are employed. There was one graduation during this reporting period.
Judge Hagar, the adult drug court judge, sits in on juvenile drug court staffing each week and fills in for Judge Mattson in his absence. Judge Mattson fills in for Judge Hagar in his absence.
During the summer months, drug court was held every other week. On the off week, the participants worked on community service projects. The participants and some staff completed a community service project at the Roosevelt Park Zoo this summer. They created a backyard garden at the zoo. It was a partnership with the Minot Juvenile Court, the zoo, the Natural Resources Conservation Service Plant Material Center in Bismarck, and Upper Dakota Resource Conservation and Development Council in Minot, to create an awareness of the value of using native plants in our homelands landscape. The juveniles were recognized and presented with letters of appreciation and water bottles. The zoo also gave the participants a behind-the-scene tour of the zoo, showing them food preparation for the animals, visiting the vet clinic and where the summer animals are held during the winter months.
Upcoming events are bell ringing for the Salvation Army, Christmas tree angel project, and a yearly bowling party.
Nicole Leitner reported for the Fargo team. Fargo currently has eight participants. There were 14 participants during the summer months. Fargo's incentives included the basket of the month drawing for a $75 West Acre gift card.
The Fargo Police Department and juvenile drug court participants completed the Ropes Course. The Ronald McDonald Project continues on a monthly basis. Nicole Leitner, juvenile court officer, continues to facilitate the Life Management Program for the participants. There was one participant involved in the Forestry Project for the summer months. The participants continue to be involved in the COG group, Life Management Equip or Girls Group. They must do one of those prior to graduation.
Robyn Hanson has been hired as the new coordinator. She replaces Sue Lass, and is located at the Juvenile Court Annex Building in Fargo.
Judge Webb is concerned that their court is not doing enough strength-based activities with their participants. This is an issue that the Fargo team will be working on in the future.
10th Anniversaries of Fargo and Grand Forks Juvenile Drug Courts. Deb Davis, Deb Carlson, Kim Hegvik, Robyn Hanson, Jeff Ubben, and Nicole Leitner volunteered to serve on the planning committee for the celebration. Justice Maring appointed Marilyn Moe as chair.
Double Jeopardy. Justice Maring led the discussion in regards to the Supreme Court's opinion on Interest of O.F., 2009 ND 177, 773 N.W.2d 206. The court held it was not a violation of double jeopardy for the court to have sanctioned a participant and for that participant to have been charged with a delinquency offense, convicted, and sentenced. The opinion is posted on the Supreme Court website. There is not another court in the nation that has decided this double jeopardy issue. Justice Maring recommends that all teams read the opinion and be aware of it. Discussion followed on the same judge hearing the termination hearing and revocation hearing. Justice Maring noted that Judge William Meyers, a retired drug court judge and presenter at the Upper Midwest Drug Court Conference, recommended that a separate judge should sit for the revocation hearing.
Justice Maring asked the drug court teams to review the manual regarding the Consents for Disclosures and Releases to ensure compliance with all HIPPA and federal requirements. She is concerned that we may not afford the participants due process without a providing a separate termination hearing. She also asked the teams what the actual process is for taking a juvenile into drug court. A conference call with all judges is scheduled to discuss these topics. She also asked that the judges discuss sanction hearings and due process issues during the conference call. Sue Thomas has agreed to research Judge Meyer's articles for this conference call.
Court Officers and Home Searches. Dave McGeary, Juvenile Court Director, Bismarck, explained that the juvenile drug court in Bismarck has been allowing the court officer to be present during a home search by the enforcement since the inception of the court. The court officer stays with the family while law enforcement executes the search. Dave McGeary raised concern regarding liability issues for the court officer. A home search is part of the condition of formal probation, but it does not include language permitting the court officer's presence. Having a court officer present has been very effective in Bismarck and has been ordered by the drug court judge as part of the probation terms. The committee held a lengthy discussion on the subject.
Justice Maring asked that Marilyn Moe contact the Department of Human Services' attorney to request a review our Releases and Consent for Disclosure to ensure that we are meeting all requirements. She also asked that the judges discuss these issues with their team members. We will discuss it at the next Juvenile Drug Court Advisory meeting.
The next meeting will be scheduled with the 10th Anniversary celebration for Fargo and Grand Forks juvenile drug courts.
The meeting was adjourned.