Juvenile Drug Court Planning Committee
September 16, 1999
Justice Mary Muehlen Maring, Chair
Dr. Kevin Thompson
Deb Carlson Hadland
Judge Deb Kleven
Judge Ralph Erickson
Chair, Justice Mary Muehlen Maring, called the meeting to order. Justice Maring brought the committee up to date on the planning of a juvenile drug court in North Dakota. In October 1998, a Juvenile Drug Court Study Committee was established to study whether a juvenile drug court should be implemented in North Dakota. Based on the findings of the study committee, the North Dakota Supreme Court applied for and was awarded a Juvenile Drug Court Planning Grant. The Office of Justice Programs, Drug Courts Program Office awarded the North Dakota Supreme Court a $30,000 grant. If committee members are interested, they may request a copy of the grant application.
Justice Maring stated that the Office of Justice Programs grant requires the initial seven team members or a designee to attend three training sessions put on by the Drug Courts Program Office. She further indicated that it is important enough data is collected regarding the success of the project to support the request of funding from the legislature in 2001. Dr. Kevin Thompson noted that in order to obtain reliable data, the drug court must be in operation six months. However, he noted it would be better for statistical purposes if the juvenile drug court was in operation at least twelve months.
Dr. Thompson also stated that we should conduct an assessment of the cost of providing services to juveniles and their families in the traditional juvenile court system versus what it will cost for juvenile drug court services. He also noted that we must establish objective indicators to evaluate the juvenile drug court. Justice Maring then provided the planning committee with an overview of the ten key components of juvenile drug courts. She also noted that many organizations supporting drug court efforts have begun operating.
Justice Maring emphasized drug courts are geared towards nonviolent offenders who don't sell or manufacture drugs. She pointed out that the judicial supervision is a vital part of its success. The judge closely monitors offenders in this therapy based program.
Justice Maring then stated that Alyson Schmidt conducted research to determine whether other drug courts use referees to supervise drug court. After contacting several juvenile and family drug courts, Alyson determined that only judges conduct the hearings. Justice Maring noted that when running the pilot project, a District Court Judge will monitor the program.
The goal of the juvenile drug court planning committee is to design a juvenile drug court plan which may be implemented in rural areas also. Justice Maring then gave an overview of meeting topics which will be discussed at the Juvenile Drug Court Planning Committee meetings. She also mentioned the need for committee members to be prepared to discuss meeting topics assigned to their designated subcommittee. She then said that she hopes the planning for the juvenile drug court will be complete for a January implementation date.
Mary Hall provided a list of East Central Judicial District Juvenile Court Treatment alternatives. (See attachment A) She noted that the major weakness in the East Central Judicial District is inpatient treatment alternatives. Mary also noted that treatment alternatives are part of a juveniles probationers requirements.
Deb Carlson Hadland discussed treatment alternatives for the Northeast Central Judicial District. She noted that the hospital provides outpatient treatment services. She said the Northeast Central Judicial District treatment weakness is also the lack of inpatient treatment services. She also stated that private providers are not used that often. Deb stated that the community service program is very strong. Quality community service opportunities are being developed and utilized by the Northeast Central Judicial District Juvenile Court.
Ron Schneider, Fargo Public Schools, presented information regarding what educational information is taught regarding drug and alcohol use. He explained that the majority of the information is included in the Health curriculum in kindergarten through seventh grade. It is also taught again in ninth grade. The programs are always changing and becoming more in-depth, with more specific information being taught at an earlier age. The educational components offered in the Fargo Public School System include classroom education, aftercare services, informational groups, concerned persons programs, and outreach services to select elementary schools.
Ron also stated that Fargo Public School system utilizes the Safe and Drug Free School grant. They use the funds for training and education, equipment and for curricula.
With no further business, the planning committee adjourned.