Justice Mary Muehlen Maring, Chair
Hon. Richard Hagar
Hon. Todd Cresap
Hon. Karen Braaten
Hon. Steve McCullough
Hon. Donovan Foughty
Hon. David Nelson
The Juvenile Drug Court Advisory Committee met by Interactive Video Network on October 28, 2011. The meeting was called to order by Chair Justice Mary Muehlen Maring.
Judge Braaten moved to approve the minutes of April 8, 2011, with a name change to the members present. Tom Lamphear seconded the motion. Motion carried.
Trudy Dick reported for the Devils Lake Team. Devils Lake currently has three participants in its program. All three participants are female. As of April, 2011, five participants have graduated from the program.
Devils Lake continues to have very good trackers from Lutheran Social Services, and the court has had excellent parental participation.
The team and participants planted and cared for a flower garden at Lake Region State College throughout the summer months, painted fire hydrants, worked at the local food pantry and enjoyed a picnic to kick off the school year. The team and participants plan to volunteer at an elementary school fall festival, continue work at the food pantry, load boxes for Operation Christmas Child, and participate in pottery making.
Sherrice Roness reported for the Bismarck Team. There were three graduations and one termination since their last report in April. There are currently six participants.
Mikayla Jablonski, defense counsel, has replaced Brad Peterson on the team. Dawn Dietz will substitute for Jeff Ubbin with the State’s Attorney’s Office, and Brenda Fetting is the new treatment provider from Heartview.
The Bismarck team attended the National Drug Court Training Conference in Washington, D.C., in July.
Kim Dockter and Marilyn Moe videotaped the Bismarck team staffing and court session in September. The purpose of the video is for training other juvenile drug court teams. John Grinsteiner encouraged the other judges and courts to have their staffing and court videotaped for insights on ways to better the staffing and court sessions. Marilyn Moe and Kim Dockter would be available for all drug courts to take advantage of the video process.
Bridget Hill reported for the Grand Forks Team. Grand Forks currently has seven participants. Two participants have graduated and six participants have been terminated since the last reporting period. One participant was transferred from the Minot Juvenile Drug Court.
Jeremy Moe, law enforcement officer, has join the Grand Forks team.
The participants joined the Alive at 25 driver’s course in June. Alive at 25 is a highly interactive four-hour program for drivers ages 14-24. It encourages young drivers to take responsibility for their driving behaviors. During the summer months, a special program for the participants was held once a month in place of a drug court session. The first summer program was Muddy Waters in which the participants and team members went to a non-profit pottery class. The participants used pottery wheels and created their own pottery. The second program was a Summer Performing Arts performance where high school students practice all summer long and performed at the end of the season. The participants and team members attended “Sweeny Todd” in which they learned about the story of how one man’s quest for justice and revenge led him down a path of destruction of not only crime but everything he ever loved. The last summer project was the annual barbeque and frolfing at a frolfing course park for parents, participants and team members. The participants and team members also volunteered at Special Olympics. The next community service project will be in December called “Sox for kids”. The participants and team members will help wrap gifts that children from the Grand Forks community will purchase for their families.
Judge Karen Braaten expressed that their drug court was improving. A review of the previous year’s terminations revealed that many of those participants suffer dual-diagnosis making it difficult for their success in the program. The team held a team retreat to strategize on ways to better the court. Ideas and brainstorming rejuvenated the team members. They listed specific goals they wanted to meet and ways to implement those goals. Judge Braaten felt that the retreat was very successful.
Shawn Peterson has replaced Deb Carlson, Juvenile Court Director, on the juvenile drug court team.
Valerie Potter reported for the Minot Drug Court Team. Minot currently has two participants in its program and has had one graduation and zero terminations.
Kristi Chole, court officer, was replaced by Sean Anderson. Judge Douglas Mattson has been replaced by Judge Todd Cresap. Judge Hagar continues to be the backup for Judge Cresap.
The majority of the team traveled to Washington, D.C., for the National Drug Court Training Conference. Due to flooding issues, some team members were not able to attend.
The yearly summer project at the Roosevelt Park and Zoo was canceled this year due to the flood. A few court sessions had to be canceled as well. One of the juveniles lost his home to the flood and another moved away because of the housing issues in Minot.
The participants participated in a Cognitive Seminar at the International Inn. The seminar teaches youth cognitive skills to deal with anger, stress, self-esteem and provides them with skills on ways to communicate more effectively in order to increase their quality of living. The participants were then asked to write about their experience and present it to the court.
Marilyn Carlson, retired license addiction counselor, has been contracted as the new Family Support Specialist. She will assist with specific family issues that may arise with the partipants and families. She will implement the “Why Try” program. This program was created to provide hands on solutions for dropouts in school, violence prevention, drug and alcohol prevention, truancy, and failure reductions, and it includes sessions on anti-bullying. Each week the kids will meet with Marilyn Carlson after court for an hour. It gives the participants an opportunity to discuss how they feel things went in court and how things are going at home or school. Marilyn Carlson then incorporates the “Why Try” journals into the session and has the participants’ complete weekly assignments. Marilyn Carlson will meet with the parents of the participants on the last Thursday of each month and will discuss various topics with them as well.
The majority of the Minot team attended the Upper Midwest Drug Conference in Bismarck. The team had positive comments about the conference.
Robyn Hanson reported for the Fargo Team. Fargo currently has seven participants. One participant is working on college enrollment and one received his GED. There has been three graduations and two terminations since the last reporting time.
The participants were involved in many community service and volunteer projects since the last Juvenile Drug Court Advisory meeting. The participants were involved in a Job Service interviewing class, worked at the Charity Football concessions, participated with the Fargo Police Department at the Island Park Booth, cooked a meal at the Ronald McDonald House, and served at the YWCA at a Chocolate Fantasy Event. The participants and team members also had some fun activities during the summer months such as bowling, attending Trollwood, and a canoe outing with the Forestry kids to Itasca State Park.
The participants continue to be involved in the Equip Boy’s Group classes, Girl’s Group classes, and Life Management Skills classes.
The team had an administrative meeting in August and the next administrative meeting is scheduled for December 5, 2011.
In June, the team received training on the Behavioral Intervention ankle bracelets and in October the team attended the Upper Midwest Drug Court Conference.
Meetings have been held with the Cass County Sheriff’s Office in regards to leasing and the use of the Siemens Drug Analyzer. Judge McCullough stated that they are in the final stages of the process and the machine will be leased soon. Kim Schnack, court officer from Grand Forks, asked how much the tests cost. Judge McCullough said that the cost would be eighty-eight cents per test and that someone from the sheriff’s office will be trained to run the machine. The machine will test for many different types of drugs but it will not test for synthetics and is not reliable for alcohol.
Katie Gendreau reported for the Williston Team. Williston will continue to be placed on hold. The issue will be revisited in April 2012. Jake Marburger has replaced Pete Furseth as defense counsel. The team will travel to Nashville for the National Drug Court Training Conference in May.
Civic’s website - Justice Maring explained to the committee about a civics website that Justice O’Connor created. There are games to play and users are able to compete with others. It gives the users the opportunity to increase their knowledge of the United States Constitution and our government process. This program has been used in other drug courts across the nation. Marilyn Moe will send the link to all team members.
Drug Court Journals - Marilyn Moe reported on the company Change Project and the drug court journals that were sent to each court. Karen Olson from Devils Lake asked if training is available for them. Karen also ordered a sample of the Native American Journal and did not notice much of a difference. Bismarck will incorporate the Drug Court Journal into their Life Skills Program with Shannon Huber. Marilyn Moe suggested the journal could be another tool for the court officers to use. Kim Schnack indicated concern that the court officers were too busy to work with the participants on the journal. Minot is already incorporating the “Why Try” journal with Marilyn Carlson. Justice Maring mentioned a book about the California juvenile court system. The book is titled, “No Matter How Loud I Shout” by Edward Humes.
Home Searches - John Grinsteiner reported to the committee about new information that he had obtained at the National Juvenile Drug Court Conference and various researched documentation on home searches. Dawn Dietz, from the Burleigh County State’s Attorney’s Office, stated that their office supports the search provision and will assist as appropriate. A decision had been made by the Juvenile Court Directors that court officers would not assist law enforcement on home searches for the drug court participants. John Grinsteiner explained that home searches were an issue of how we can best serve our drug court participants. It is a way of knowing what home life is like for the participant.
Judge McCullough stated that Fargo would not do home searches and the other courts agreed. Judge McCullough expressed that Fargo depends on their Lutheran Social Service trackers to make home observations when they visit the home. John Grinsteiner indicated he did not believe that was an option in Bismarck. Karen Olson from Devils Lake expressed that her court officer does home visits on a regular basis, which builds a relationship with the parents and child. After a lengthy discussion, Justice Maring reported she asked Jim Ganje, staff attorney, to research the matter and is waiting for his results. Sean Anderson, Minot, said that they invited the Drug Task Force to do a session with the parents. It gave the parents an opportunity to see exactly what drugs were out there, what to look for, and how to handle the situation.
In response to a question by Judge Karen Braaten as to how charges were handled if drugs or drug paraphernalia are found in the home, John Grinsteiner said the State’s Attorney has discretion. They have held the charge until the participant graduates, and if they successfully complete the program, then no charge is brought. If the participant is terminated, the State’s Attorney may then charge the participant with the offense received during the search.
John Grinsteiner thanked the group for the discussion and stated that Bismarck would look at other alternatives.
Graduate Re-Entry Policy - The Bismarck team drafted a policy for accepting participants back into the program who had graduated and then reoffended shortly after graduation. Bismarck Juvenile Drug Court did re-enter a participant into its program in that situation, and the participant graduated in September. Justice Maring made some revisions to the policy. Justice Maring asked for a motion to approve the Re-Entry policy. John Grinsteiner made a motion to approve the policy and Jeremy Moe seconded the motion.
Discussion on the Re-Entry policy followed. John Grinsteiner explained that the first offense that brought them into juvenile drug court would not be erased because the juvenile had reoffended within that time frame. The second offense that brought the juvenile back into drug court also would not be erased. But, in two years, the juvenile could request to the court that all records be sealed. The Motion carried.
Upper Midwest Drug Court Conference - Marilyn Moe reported that the conference was well attended from North Dakota and South Dakota. The evaluations showed it to be a success. Marilyn also thanked those that served on the conference committee for their work in planning and helping during the conference.
House Bill 1086 - The bill has been enacted. Justice Maring asked that all teams make sure that their school representative has received a copy. There were no questions from the committee.
Annie Casey Foundation Detention Study - Justice Maring encouraged the team members to consider the recommendations for non-residential best practice reforms. Marilyn Moe will send the link to everyone for the study. Justice Maring asked that the advisory committee make some recommendations for the Alternatives to Incarceration Committee. Justice Maring serves on this committee. She also expressed her concerns about treatment for adolescents in North Dakota. Discussion on Muti-Systemic Therapy followed. Justice Maring plans to visit with the Department of Human Services.
Revision of the 2007 Program Manual - Justice Maring asked the group if they wanted to table the revisions until the June meeting. A JDC Advisory meeting was scheduled for January 20, 2012, to go through the manual and adopt any new changes. Each team will submit any changes to Marilyn Moe before January 1, 2012. The meeting will be through Interactive Video Network.
Marilyn Moe mentioned to the committee that an in-house recidivism study has started for the juvenile drug courts. It will be an ongoing study.
The next meeting is scheduled for April 13, 2012. It will be an Interactive Video Network meeting starting at 9:00 a.m.