Wellness Court Advocate for Healing Award
Wellness Court Bay dt ge:vik a’hanja Award is Hualapai and means “All of us be well”, in honor of Hon. Joseph Flies-Away, a groundbreaking leader and advocate for community healing and Wellness Courts. The Bay dt ge:vik a’hanja Award was conceived to identify and honor Wellness Court practitioners who have been instrumental in the success of their court, and thereby in the healing and restoration of their community.
2021 Wellness Court Advocate for Award Recipients
Joan Johnson, (Aaniiih Tribes), Program Manager for the Tiwahe Recidivism Reduction Initiative (RRI) Juvenile Justice System, Fort Belknap Tribal Court
My name is Joan Johnson I am a member of the Aaniiih’nin Tribe of Fort Belknap Agency, Montana. I would like to thank my husband Stanley Johnson for nominating me, it was a nice surprise. We have 5 children, numerous grandchildren (5 we have reared), and our first great granddaughter was born last year. They bring great joy to our lives. I have been working with the Fort Belknap Tribe since 1981 in numerous positions throughout the years. I received my Associates in Human Services in 2003, I never continued with college because I had 5 small grandchildren to raise. In 2004 my court career began working in different positions with juveniles and families at Fort Belknap. June 2014 I became a member of the Fort Belknap Tribal Bar Association. In 2016 I began working as the Program Manager for the Tiwahe Recidivism Reduction Initiative (RRI) Juvenile Justice System at Fort Belknap Tribal Court. Our program goal is to reduce the rate of recidivism through culturally infused alternative sentencing . We have build the justice system from ground up and we maintain our traditional/holistic way of life for our youth and families. It has been a successful initiative through the hard work and effort of my staff and most importantly with the help our of Elders. It is the faith and believe in Creator that has guided and led me on this true path of life. To treat all living things with respect, kindness, and to have empathy; basically live a humble way of life Creator would want us to. And to honor Mother Earth who is so sacred and everything she has blessed us with. It’s a good day. Gineehayan!
Stanley Johnson, Fort Belknap Tribal Court Adult Probation Officer, Fort Belknap Tribal Court
Joan has worked 10 plus years with Fort Belknap. She is well respected by peers, parents and youth. Joan has contributed to the advancement of the court by coordinating all events to include youth and elders that work in the program. She attends conferences in-person, on the internet or Zoom classes. She provides information about the program, follows through with all clients, and shares her experience form youth to adulthood. She spends hours completing program objectives, and provides input to other programs within reach. The program is an asset to Fort Belknap Juvenile Justice System and throughout Indian Country. Joan assures that Our People are treated equally regardless of consequences from Justice System or just normal living conditions.
Joan is a mother of 4 boys, 1 daughter, and grandmother to countless children...
Robert Mann, (Ho-Chunk Nation), Healing to Wellness Court-Program Coordinator, Ho-Chunk Nation- Judiciary - Healing to Wellness Court
Hon. Jo Deen Lowe, Chief Judge, Ho-Chunk Nation
Alyssa Harrold, Healing to Wellness Court Coordinator and Adult Probation Officer, Little Traverse Bay Bands of Odawa Indians Tribal Drug Court
Alyssa Harrold is employed as the Specialty Court Coordinator/Probation Officer, for the Little Traverse Bay Bands of Odawa Indians. Ms. Harrold has degrees in Criminal Justice and Women’s Studies from Central Michigan University, with a focus on rehabilitative services for both survivors and perpetrators. Ms. Harrold began her tenure at LTBB as the Domestic Violence Court Coordinator. Ms. Harrold has obtained the following certifications:
Juvenile Probation Officer and In-Home Care Worker;
Moral Reconation Therapy (MRT) facilitator;
Crisis Prevention Institution (CPI) de-escalation ;
Danger Assessment facilitator;
Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy (REBT);
Youth Mental Health First Aid and Applied Suicide Intervention Skills; and
Batterer’s Intervention Programming (BIP) to facilitate men’s re-education groups for domestic violence.
In 2015, she transitioned from the Domestic Violence Coordinator position to her current role as a probation officer. She subsequently became the project director for the Waabshki-Miigwan Drug Court Program (WMDCP) and worked to expand that program to accept both misdemeanor and felony level clients. The philosophy of the WMDCP program is to foster connections and engagement between clients and their community as a foundation for their recovery. Ms. Harrold believes resiliency is a skill that can be cultivated and assists the clients in finding internal motivation for their recovery journey. Additionally, she is the project director for programming that includes the Tribal Court’s Domestic Violence Docket and the Family Preservation Court.
In her role as project director for the WMDCP and Family Preservation Court programs she coordinates multi-disciplinary teams (MDT) that are comprised of service providers and community advocates. The MDTs are coordinated by Ms. Harrold to ensure services are being effectively delivered to families in an efficient manner.
Missy Merchant, Masters Level Counselor, Little Traverse Bay Bands
Ms. Harrold has worked for the LTBB tribal drug court for over three years. By the team members, Ms. Harrold is held in the highest of regards. Her dedication to the team, the clients, and the overall court programming is unquestionable. The participants usually butt heads with her initially but almost all of them by the end of the program cannot speak her praises high enough for the recognition of all that she does to help them be the best people they can be. The amount of blood, sweat, and tears that she puts into the programing and work with court participants is immeasurable. She heads every aspect of court imaginable, check-ins, screenings, home visits, community connections, ceremony participation, policy and grant work, and so much behind the scenes coordination it isn't even funny. Without her, there would be no LTBB Healing to Wellness Court. You would be hard pressed to find someone who works on a treatment team harder than Ms. Harrold does. She is the true backbone of the programming we have and it shows how much the better we are for having her. Outside of her work life, she also coaches her kids soccer teams, and her family is active in the local community.
2020 Wellness Court Advocate for Award Recipient
Byram Beckstead, Chief Prosecutor, Shoshone-Bannock Tribes
My name is Byram Beckstead. I am the Chief Prosecutor with the Shoshone-Bannock Tribes, a position I have enjoyed since 2010. As a prosecutor, I strive to use the law to change people, not just punish them. I have been involved in treatment courts for approximately four years. I am a firm believer in treatment courts because they don’t just hold people accountable to the law, they hold people accountable to themselves. Outside of work, I enjoy playing board games, woodworking, traveling, and coaching youth soccer.
Lunita Arwite, Chief Judge, Shoshone-Bannock Tribal Court
Mr. Beckstead has been working with the Adult Drug Court for about 4 yrs. He is an asset to our team, he works hard, volunteers his time outside of prosecution. He does all our UA call-ins daily around 5:00 am. He provides the drug court staffing sheets, does all the class check-ins, self-help, records stats, history and calendaring. Byram is open to new ideas, methods and training. He is critical if needs be, he also can take criticism when we have those sessions for improvement. Byram is a team leader, works hard and deserves to be rewarded for his efforts, the team would not be a team without him. Byram has been with our tribal court since 2011 (19 years). Byram is a licensed attorney, Chief Prosecutor. Byram is non-Indian and for him to work with a Native American tribe for so long, is an accomplishment! In our language. A "Tybo" is a white man; Byram is a 'Tybo member". We love him and appreciate him.
2019 Wellness Court Advocate for Award Recipients
Rhonda Decontie, Clerk of the Court, Penobscot Nation Tribal Court
Rhonda Decontie (Algonquin & Penobscot) has served the Penobscot Nation’s Judicial System since 2011 and was promoted to the Clerk of the Court in 2014. That same year she was selected from more than 300 tribal courts by the National American Indian Court Judges Association to receive its National Outstanding Court Support Award. Under her leadership, the
Tribal Court has been nationally recognized as a leader in the handling of child protective proceedings and for its culturally aligned Healing to Wellness Court.
Leah Parish, Chief Judge/Healing to Wellness Court Coordinator, Bay Mills Tribal Court
Hon. Leah Parish is a Member of the Bay Mills Indian Community and proud mother of three. She has been the Healing to Wellness Court Coordinator for Bay Mills Tribal Court since its inception in 2014, and was recently appointed as Chief Judge.