Monday, June 6, 2016

from the Director's desk:

NADCP Conference in Anaheim, CA

The 2016 National Association of Drug Court Professionals Conference brought together more than 5,000 treatment court professionals from across the United States to discuss addiction, mental health, recovery and criminal justice reform.  This year I was honored to moderate a panel titled, Meeting the Need: Innovative Methods for Working with Court Involved Mental Health Consumers.  The panel featured Newark Municipal Court Chief Judge Victoria Pratt and the Hon. Judge Verna Leath from the Essex County Superior Court, Criminal Division.  As both Judges preside over alternative sentencing programs, Newark Community Solutions at the municipal level and the Essex County Prosecutor's Office Mental Health Diversion Program at the superior court level, they are uniquely positioned to impact this vulnerable and often underserved population.  Highlights of the discussion included the importance of clear communication with both court staff and participants, setting realistic goals and expectations and the value of a positive courtroom culture with the tone set from the bench.  

Thank you to Judge Pratt and Judge Leath for the amazing work you do and for sharing your wisdom with the conference crowd. It was a wonderful experience and a truly inspiring event.


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