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NCJ Number: NCJ 231168   Add to Shopping cart   Find in a Library
Title: Lessons Learned in Implementing the First Four Tribal Wellness Courts
  Document URL: PDF 
Author(s): Karen Gottlieb, Ph.D., J.D.
Date Published: 12/2005
Page Count: 60
  Annotation: The "lessons learned" presented in this paper were drawn from the experiences of the first four tribal wellness courts (drug courts): Hualapai (Arizona), the Blackfeet (Montana), Fort Peck reservation (Montana), Poarch Creek (Alabama).
Abstract: Although these tribal drug courts had distinctive experiences in planning and implementing court procedures and programs, they exhibited a similar pattern of strengths and weaknesses. The intent of identifying lessons learned from these court programs is that other tribes learn from their experiences and avoid the same mistakes. The first of 10 lessons discussed is to develop a strong structure for the court team. The responsibility of the team is to integrate the members’ skills and backgrounds in achieving a holistic approach to treating court participants who have substance abuse problems. The team should be composed of representatives from across the reservation, including tribal elders and others who embody traditional tribal values. The second lesson is to use the informed consent model for admittance to the court program, which involves the selection of referral points and the use of legal procedures that protect the individual’s due-process rights. The third lesson is to assess readiness for change in potential participants through legal and clinical screening for eligibility. A fourth lesson is to integrate culture, not religion, into the court, which involves providing access to holistic, structured, and phased substance abuse treatment services that incorporate culture and tradition. Other lessons discussed involve monitoring participants during times when illegal acts are likely to occur; rewarding positive behaviors; choosing a judge who can be both a leader and a team player; collecting automated court information systematically from the beginning of the court; developing a written curriculum for court staff; and emphasizing early outreach within the community. 2 notes
Main Term(s): Drug Courts
Index Term(s): Indian justice ; Tribal court system ; Indian affairs ; American Indians ; Program planning ; Program implementation ; Juvenile drug courts ; Tribal Courts
Sponsoring Agency: National Institute of Justice (NIJ)
US Department of Justice
Office of Justice Programs
United States of America
Grant Number: 2001-DC-BX-0500
Sale Source: National Institute of Justice/NCJRS
Box 6000
Rockville, MD 20849
United States of America

NCJRS Photocopy Services
Box 6000
Rockville, MD 20849-6000
United States of America
Type: Instructional Material
Country: United States of America
Language: English
Note: For reports related to the evaluation of these courts, see NCJ-231167, NCJ-231166, NCJ-231165, NCJ-231162, and NCJ-231161.
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