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2016 Training Materials

September 27-29, 2016
Albuquerque, NM

2016 Full Agenda PDF

The Tribal Ten Key Components and the National Drug Court Standards: The Best Practices
Hon. Carrie Garrow and Hon. Charlene Jackson

Healing to Wellness Courts have been in operation since 1999. While research on Wellness Courts remains limited, research on drug courts have revealed best practices that most effectively and efficiently serve participants. The Tribal Ten Key Components, adopted from the state drug court key components, and the ten foundational principles upon which Healing to Wellness Courts are based. The National Drug Court Standards are research-based specific, practitioner-focused Drug Court guidance. This plenary will overview the Tribal Ten Key Components and how the National Drug Court Standards inform these guideposts through specific best practices. 


Healing to Wellness Courts as Good Governance
Hon. Carrie Garrow and Hon. Charlene Jackson

The Healing to Wellness Court is a nonadversarial alternative to incarceration, challenging the status quo of Anglo-based judiciaries. But crucially, it is still a key element of the tribal judiciary. This workshop will overview how Wellness Courts contribute to the overall nation-building of tribes, as well as practical strategies for good governance, including Wellness Court codes, Memorandums of Understanding, and possible structures within the tribal justice system that protect the integrity of the Wellness Court.


Responses to Client Behavior: Incentives, Sanctions, and Therapeutic Adjustments
Mark Dyea

This presentation outlines the basic behavior modification principles and their applicability in incentives, sanctions and therapeutic adjustments. It identifies the importance of incentives, both formal and informal, and their application in the program. The presentation recognizes the effect of immediate consequences in modifying client behavior, and identifies the distinctions between court-imposed sanctions and incentives and treatment responses. The presentation discusses the importance of formulating a strategy for the application of graduated sanctions and incentives and appropriate treatment responses, along the importance of the consistency in those responses.


Using Collaboration to Change the "System": The Importance of Family Wellness Courts
Hon. Mary Jo Hunter and Nicole Homer

The Ho Chunk National Family Wellness Court serves Ho Chunk parents with civil child welfare cases that have identified substance abuse dependency issues. As a challenge to conventional western adversarial child welfare court system, this Wellness Court using collaboration as an alternative approach to change the “system” for the betterment of children, of parents, of families, and of the Nation. This workshop will explore the strategies and experiences of Ho Chunk, presented by the Court’s Judge and Tribal Counsel. The workshop will discuss what a Tribal Family Wellness Court is, explore ways to incorporate culture into the child welfare court, and discuss struggles that the Ho Chunk Nation Family Wellness Court has experienced and continues to experience.


Domestic Violence in Healing to Wellness Court
Mark Panasiewiz

Healing to Wellness Courts target participants with significant substance abuse dependency issues. However, participants often bring a variety of co-occurring issues. The beauty of Wellness Courts is that our multi-disciplinary team is designed to identify and treat these issues in immediate and impactful ways. This workshop will explore a devastating yet common issue in Wellness Court, domestic violence. This can include the participant as both victim or perpetrator. The workshop will explore strategies for identifying DV, safety strategies, as well as strategies for addressing DV within the Wellness Court.


Neuropharmacology of Substance Abuse: Your Brain on Drugs
Hon. Kim McGinnis, Ph.D., Esq.

People who abuse substances cause substantial changes to the anatomy of their brains. Chemically-dependent people have trouble learning and making decisions. This talk will explore the current thinking on how/why addictions develop. Evidence of the acute and chronic physical changes to the brain caused by alcohol, heroin, and other drugs of abuse will be shown with the aim of explaining why it is so difficult to work with many addicts. Attendees will be able to discuss definitions of addiction, explain basic neuroanatomy/pharmacology of the reward pathway, and describe the acute and chronic effects of drugs and alcohol on the brain.


HIPAA and Confidentiality
Hon. Carrie Garrow

The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) governs medical confidentiality, including for Healing to Wellness Courts. The Wellness Court team is bound to protect a participant’s confidentiality, including most importantly, what is discussed within treatment settings. However, HIPAA does not preclude the sharing of vital information amongst team members, nor does it prevent judicial participation in staffing. This workshop will discuss how HIPAA impacts and interacts with the Healing to Wellness Court, how judges can serve a Healing to Wellness Court and still abide by their judicial ethics, and what forms must be incorporated into our practicing procedures.


Closing Reflections: The Bench Cards/Role Play
Donna Humetewa Kaye, Hon. Carrie Garrow, Hon. Charlene Jackson, Mark Panasiewicz
Healing to Wellness Court is about coming together. It is often the Court’s biggest strength and the most trying challenge. From varying personalities, professional duties, and time commitments, to the complexities of issues our participants bring to Wellness Court, the components of a healthy and effective team can change week-to-week. This session will highlight some common issues that Wellness Courts encounter, as well as simulate how the staffing and hearing can be conducted.


Interagency Collaboration: Navajo Veterans Outreach Project
Regina Begay and Robertson Yazzie, Jr.

Participants will learn how to strengthen planning for on and off reservation service delivery for Native American veterans particularly those who served in combat and who are justice involved.  The information and presentation will provide examples of how to collaborate with state, federal and tribal organizations to improve the existing service array tailored for Native American veterans through the Indian Health Services, tribal programs and the Veterans Affairs. Participants will learn how the coordination and collaboration efforts of the Navajo Nation Judicial Branch’s Healing to Wellness Court’s Veterans Justice Outreach with the New Mexico Department of Veterans Services Rural Coordination Program with the Military Support Group Collaborative has improved access for veterans seeking services particularly for veterans in rural and frontier areas of the Navajo Nation.  The presenters will also provide information on a new effort to develop a culturally appropriate Native Veterans behavioral health curriculum that utilizes Navajo fundamental law, customs and traditions through the Judicial Branch’s Peacemaking program.  The information and presentation will also give important strategies and information on how to include community in the design of the collaborations, activities and events.  A program logic model will be introduced that tribes can use to design their outcomes when servicing Native American combat veterans returning from Afghanistan and Iraq or other foreign wars.


Marketing our Wellness Court
Donna Humetewa Kaye and Charlene Jackson

Key Component #9 calls for continuing community education. The effectiveness of the Healing to Wellness Court hinges not just on the team and the participant, but the participant's family and the community-at-large. This workshop will detail some strategies for better engaging the community within the Healing to Wellness Court, including website information, graduation ceremonies, newsletter write-ups, community outreach events, etc. 


Treatment: Developing Phased Treatment
Mark Panasiewicz

Tribal Key Component #4 states that Healing to Wellness Court provide access to holistic, structure, and phased alcohol and drug abuse treatment. But what should the phases look like? This workshop will detail key considerations for building Wellness Court phases, including balancing intensive supervision with participant accountability, key markers of participant progress, potentials for over or under-supervision, and how to effectively integrate custom and tradition into the phases. 


Treatment: Relapse Prevention
Mark Panasiewicz

Healing to Wellness Court often provides such structured supervision and accountability that a participant can grow accustomed to the Wellness Court safety net. Simultaneously, the road towards sobriety often includes the potential for or actual relapse, regardless of Wellness Court. Too often, relapse has been viewed as failure, returning clients to the revolving criminal justice door. It is critical, therefore, that Wellness Courts be able to identify relapse warning signs, and have strategies for both preventing and coping with relapse. This workshop with detail those warning signs, discuss common policies that have the potential to enable relapse, and discuss effective strategies for returning a participant to a good path.   


Improving FamilyDrug Court Systems to Provide Comprehensive Family-Centered Care – Lessons fromthe Prevention and Family Recovery (PFR) Initiative
Kimberly Dennis and Ashay Shah

Prevention and Family Recovery (PFR) seeks to advance the capacity of Family Drug Courts (FDCs) to provide and sustain a comprehensive family-centered care approach that improves outcomes for children, parents and families affected by substance use disorders and child abuse and neglect. This session will discuss the experiences of the first round of four PFR FDC grantees in integrating evidence-based parenting programs and children’s services into their larger FDC systems of care, which represent geographically and culturally diverse populations. The presenters will highlight the major, cross-cutting PFR lessons learned and provide examples of practice and policy changes that the four grantees made at the project, organizational and systems levels to move towards more family-centered care. The presenters will also briefly touch on the upcoming expansion of PFR to four new sites, including a Tribal Healing to Wellness Court. 


Prescription Drug Abuse: Understanding a Global Epidemic andHow Tribal Nations are Working to Combat It
Precious Benally and Sarah Reckess

Approximately 7% of American Indian/Alaska Natives used prescription drugs for non-medical reasons last year. This workshop will highlight drug use trends and the ways tribes are addressing the misuse of prescription drugs. Audience members will learn about initiatives and programs that have been effective in curbing prescription drug abuse. 


Incorporating Culture and Community in Wellness Recovery: A Penobscot Perspective
Rhonda Decontie and Hon. Eric Mehnert

Many addicts are ostracized and isolated by their communities because of the behaviors that come with their addiction. That isolation is a trigger for further self-medication. This program explores the ways the Penobscot Nation Wellness Court has re-connected Wellness Participants with their culture and community. 


The Latest Research on Tribal Healing to Wellness Courts
Juliette Mackin

What are the practices and procedures in Healing to Wellness Courts? Do Healing to Wellness Courts reduce recidivism? What are the cost impacts? In this presentation we will discuss how Healing to Wellness Courts uniquely follow the drug court model and how different tribal cultures can impact policies and procedures. Recidivism and cost-benefit findings from a recent Healing to Wellness Court study will also be presented.


Recovery in a Drug Court Environment – How to Meet the New Standards
Jeffrey Kushner

The presentation will begin by discussing Alcohol and other Drug Dependence as a chronic care disease and how the response differs from an acute care model which has been used by the treatment field for decades. I will discuss the need and understanding for a new language (Recovery, Recovery Maintenance, Recovery Management, Recovery Capital, Recover Oriented Systems of Care). We will discuss the research on relapse and the variables that lead to long-term abstinence. We will then discuss how the New Adult Drug Court Standards begin to reflect this new paradigm. What are the specific standards and how drug courts can meet them. Lastly, we will discuss what Drug Courts can do before discharge, and after discharge to support this new paradigm and their drug court participants who have achieved abstinence above and beyond the standards. 


What’s New in Juvenile Drug Courts and Juvenile Healing to Wellness Programs: Focusing on Individualizing Services 
Jessica Pearce and Evan Elkin
Juvenile drug courts share many characteristics with juvenile healing to wellness programs. Because of this, innovations that work in juvenile drug courts may also be effective in the healing to wellness setting. This session will discuss the efforts juvenile drug courts have made in treating each youth as an individual with their own strengths and challenges. In addition, this session will discuss promising approaches for creating a continuum of care in juvenile healing to wellness programs by introducing brief interventions.


Team Building and Self-Care
Donna Humetewa Kaye and Dr. Maria Kokesh
The strength of our Wellness Court stems from the strength of its team members. This closing session will reflect on some of the innovative and effective strategies Wellness Courts have used to incorporate custom and tradition into their program. This session will close with strategies for our own self-care.

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