Justice Mary Muehlen Maring
Judge Bruce Romanick
Judge Karen Braaten
Dr. Kevin Thompson
Brandi Sasse Russell
The Juvenile Drug Court Advisory Committee met at the Kelly Inn in Fargo on September 19, 2003. The meeting was called to order by Justice Maring. The minutes of April 25, 2003, were approved.
Kris Haycraft reported for the Fargo team. They have ten participants in the program. The participants planted a garden this year. The plants and seeds were all donated and the produce was donated to families in need. Jack Caldis will be the new probation officer for drug court starting October 1, 2003. Judge Wade Webb will be the new drug court judge.
Peter Welte reported for the Grand Forks team. They have eleven participants in the program. Drug court was held every other week during the summer months. The weeks that court was not in session, Shawn Peterson, Heather James, and Candi Iverson from CAT’s scheduled fun activities for the participants and youth were involved in inpatient treatment at PATH. These activities included volleyball, basketball, frisbee golf, and kickball. It was a positive experience for the participants. The last summer activity was a kickball game between the participants and drug court team members. They adopted a treatment policy regarding residential treatment credit . If a participant is admitted into an inpatient treatment facility during the time they are in the drug court program, the participant will be given clean test credit at a rate of one week credit for two weeks of clean tests. They report to court each week. They have also come up with a new curfew policy. The judge has the discretion to set a different curfew depending on the circumstances of each participant. A letter is sent to all graduates 30-45 days after graduation indicating that the coordinator will be calling to discuss the progress of the participant since graduation and that they will speak with both the parents and participants. The drug court team has a new school representative, John Fuher. He is a social worker in the school system. Peter Welte will be visiting the Missoula Juvenile Drug Court in November to observe their court’s policies and procedures. Justice Maring suggested he also inquire about their incentives and sanctions. Mary Hall asked if he would inquire about their follow-up program.
Judge Bruce Romanick reported for the Bismarck drug court. They have ten participants at this time. Nadene Butts is the new school representative for their drug court; Susan Anderson retired. They held weekly drug court during the summer months. The adult drug court judges have been filling in for Judge Romanick when needed.
The committee discussed whether or not the drug courts are able to transfer a participant from one district to another and whether or not the participants could be transferred to the adult drug court programs where available.
Dr. Kevin Thompson informed the group that Fred Leinfelt, a PhD student, is assisting him with the drug court evaluation program. Fred and Dr. Thompson will provide three reports this year: adult recidivism study; consisting of past drug court participants who are now adults, an updated school report on grades and attendance analysis and possibly something with the ASI’s (Addiction Severity Index.) Justice Maring asked if he was aware of any court that has done a report on a recidivism study a year or more after graduation. He said the only reports completed have been on adult drug courts. The committee discussed the different types of assessment tests that the agencies are using.
Deb Davis reported that Jim Fish, Fred Leinfelt, Kristi Lentz, Marilyn Moe and she presented at the Kids at Risk Conference in Minot on September 8th. Kevin distributed a Power Point Presentation that Fred gave at the Kids at Risk Conference.
Justice Maring asked the team members if they had participants that are using Meth and what are the treatment plans for these participants. All the drug courts have had meth users in their programs. Melody Peterson, treatment provider from Fargo, said they are trying to use a more structured program for the meth users. Justice Maring’s concern is whether or not they can be successful in completing the drug court program. Deb Davis said that we might have to look at how we define success. Melody Peterson said Fargo has had a participant graduate who was meth dependent. The committee discussed the treatment facilities in the state for adolescents. The only inpatient treatment facility is Center for Adolescent Treatment in Grand Forks. It is the only place in North Dakota that is able to keep a youth for six weeks or more. Testing is a major issue with meth users and they need more case management. Mary Hall said that the juvenile court in Fargo is seeing meth users and have some girls in juvenile court that are using meth. Bismarck does not have meth treatment for juveniles. Melody Peterson said that North Dakota does not have facilities to take care of these kids. The Center for Adolescent Treatment has only eight beds for adolescents. Justice Maring also asked what was happening with the adult drug courts. She asked if were able to transfer our participants into adult drug court if they became too old for the juvenile program. None of the courts have transferred any participants at this time. If they fit the criteria the teams feel that the adult courts would take them.
Justice Maring asked for feedback on whether or not we need clinical assessments for mental and addiction problems. All members agreed that they are in need of psychiatry and treatment help. Justice Maring has spoke with Dacotah Foundation in regards to funds for assessments. She will follow up with Pat Traynor who is on the board as to whether or not there might be some funds available to help with treatment.
Judge Romanick asked to discuss the pros and cons of using detention as a sanction. It was the consensus of group that there are circumstances when they feel it has been beneficial. Judge Romanick will work with Greg Wallace in drafting a recommendation for the Juvenile Policy Board which meets in November.
Justice Maring informed the group the National Center for State Courts is offering statewide technical assistance. Marilyn Moe stated that this would have to include all the drug courts in the state including tribal and adult. Peter Welte requested training on drug testing. Marilyn Moe will send in the request.
The committee discussed whether or not the courts need an information management system. The group felt that it was not in need of this extensive system at this time.
Justice Maring stated the Bismarck Juvenile Drug Court received an Office of Justice Implementation Grant.
The Strategic Planning committee report was given by Mary Hall. The advisory committee received a copy of the plan with their minutes and agenda. Mary recommended that members of this committee be assigned tasks for the plan. Birch Burdick is willing to chair the group to assign the tasks. This could be done by email or conference call. Discussion was held on team training. Peter Welte felt that it was extremely useful when Judge Cornish was brought in to meet with all the courts. He felt it was more cost effective. Justice Maring suggested that Peter Welte talk with the juvenile drug court judge from Missoula when he is visiting there. He might consider coming to visit our courts.
The Policy and Procedures Planning Committee drafted new policies and procedures which were included with the minutes and agenda. Judge Braaten is chair of this committee. The guidelines for drug court participants and family members was adopted and approved with recommendations by the committee. Judge Braaten suggests we change Treatment Plan to Accountability Program Plan. Judge Romanick made the motion and Tim Bittner seconded the motion to adopt the Accountability Program Plan. A tobacco policy was adopted with revisions on a motion by Shawn Peterson and seconded by Deb Davis. A community service policy was tabled until the next meeting on a motion made by Peter Welte. A termination policy was adopted on a motion by Peter Welte and seconded by Judge Romanick. The tracking policy was adopted with revisions on a motion by Mary Hall and seconded by Deb Davis. The Parent Notification Form was drafted by Peter Welte. The committee adopted this form on a motion by Deb Davis and seconded by Dave McGeary. A graduation policy was adopted with revisions and a separate policy on dismissal from page two of the manual on a motion by Judge Romanick and seconded by Shawn Peterson. A follow-up policy was adopted on a motion by Dave McGeary and seconded by Deb Davis. It will be added to the graduation policy.
The first paragraph on the drug testing policy was adopted on a motion by Judge Romanick and seconded by Dave McGeary. The individual district descriptions were tabled. Each district has thirty days to submit their revised descriptions to Marilyn Moe.
The next meeting is scheduled for April 16, 2004 in Fargo.