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eighthjdcourt

Info about the Eighth Judicial District Court.

Monthly Archives: January 2020

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Graduation from the Nevada Eighth Judicial District Court felony DUI (FDUI) program comes with a certificate, a supportive hug, a lifeline to resources and a whole new lease on life. After three to five years of rigorous treatment, participants get the tools they need to control their life, beat their addiction, act responsibly and leave DUI’s in the dust. The felony DUI program is using one-year grant of $30,000 awarded in late 2019 by the Nevada Department of Public Safety Office of Traffic Safety to increase program retention rates, up success rates and improve public safety.  In 2019, 112 graduates successfully completed the program. So far in 2020, five have graduated with seven participants scheduled to graduate on Feb. 14 at a 3 p.m. ceremony in the jury services room.

As part of the 2019 grant application process, the Office of Traffic Safety looked at the success of the  Felony DUI program. Of those admitted to the FDUI program from Jan.  2015 to Jan. 2018, 72 percent completed the three to five year program. The Felony DUI program involves intensive treatment, counselling, random urine analysis and weekly support meetings. Participants in the program have three DUI’s (with no resulting injured parties) within seven years. They are on probation during the entire program and serve a minimum six months under house-arrest. All participants are required to have a breath interlock device on any vehicle they own, operate or have access to  during the entire time they are in the program.

“This Nevada Department of Public Safety  grant will enable District Court to add needed resources to successfully manage the significant Felony DUI Court caseload,” said District Court Chief Judge Linda Marie Bell. “Intensive treatment over time provides those with a history of DUI’s the tools to address their addiction issues. Ultimately, this makes our community safer.”

FDUI program currently has 326 participants in the program. The court coordinator is responsible for intensive clinical case management. They communicate with all collaborative partners, gather information on how participants are doing in therapy. They also problem solve issues, facilitate successes for clients and make clinical recommendations to the judge on treatment.

“I see firsthand how this program helps participants take responsibility for their actions and change,” said Hearing Master Shannon Wittenberger, who presides over the Felony DUI Court. “This funding gives us the ability to add much needed resources to improve success rates and be more effective at treating those in the program.”

The Nevada Eighth Judicial District Court specialty courts are an effective way to address root-causes that lead to addiction and recidivism. Intensive treatment has proven to be a cost effective way to keep participants in specialty courts from revolving through the justice system. The Nevada Eighth Judicial District specialty courts include veterans court, mental health court, the OPEN program, drug court, felony DUI court, gambling treatment diversion court, family treatment drug court, juvenile drug court and a youth autism court.

 

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If you’ve been to the Regional Justice Center recently, you’ve probably seen the white canopy covering the information booth at the south end of the building. It looks as if there is a top-secret project going on; perhaps an alien autopsy or secret art installation. Although these theories are intriguing, the truth is the white canopy near the south entrance is phase-one of a jury services improvement project. The new design will streamline the registration of jurors as they enter the building. The new user-friendly system will enable computer registration with a jury services employee stationed to help with registration, offer directions and address questions. Upgrades are also in the works for the jury services room including: seats with charging stations, big-screen TV’s and coffee. It’s all part of a plan to improve the experience of potential jurors while they wait to be brought to a courtroom for voir dire. That’s the part when they interview people to determine who will actually serve on the jury.

There are many reasons why the opportunity to serve jury duty is a great experience.

Top 10 reasons to serve on a jury

  1. Jury service is interesting.Serving on a jury can be a very interesting, informative and rewarding life experience.  It gives those who serve on a jury a front row seat to our justice system and valuable insight on how it works.
  2. Jury duty offers a better understanding of the justice system. – In reality, jury duty lasts only one day if required to appear for the majority of people. On average, only 50 percent of people end up being required to report when summoned; seven percent end up being sent to the courtroom; and only one percent actually serve on a jury. The average jury trials in the Eighth Judicial District Court last three to five days (there are exceptions).
  3. Jury trials are guaranteed in the U.S. Constitution. – By serving as a juror you are fulfilling a fundamental American right guaranteed by the Constitution.
  4. You are a guardian of justice. – Jury service is one way to have a hand in the justice system and know first-hand that it is fair.
  5. It is an opportunity to meet new people and gain a new perspective. – It is not uncommon for jurors to bond during the experience of serving as a juror. It is a shared experience with a common goal to reach justice.
  6. It is time well spent. In reality, jury duty for the majority of people lasts only one day if required to appear. On average, only 50 percent of people end up being required to report when summoned; seven percent end up being sent to a courtroom; and only one percent actually serve on a jury.  The average jury trial in the Eighth Judicial District Court lasts three to five days (there are exceptions).  Jurors are very rarely sequestered.
  7. For those selected it is a valuable life experience. – Serving on a jury is an opportunity to experience something in life that not everyone can claim. Most countries around the world do not have jury trials.
  8. Jurors are compensated – while jury service does not pay as much as most jobs, seated jurors are paid $40 per day. In addition, many large employers continue to pay employees while they serve on juries.  Please check with your employer regarding policies for juror pay.
  9. Many employers allow and encourage attendance – Employers recognize that jury service is an important responsibility. Some employers even pay their employees regular salary while they serve. Pursuant to Nevada Revised Statutes Chapter 6.190, employers MUST allow employees to attend jury duty and it is unlawful to take any action against a person for performing his or her civic duty. In addition, employers are prohibited from requiring employees to use sick leave or vacation time in order to serve jury duty.  Employers also may not require employees to work within eight hours before serving, or to work if jury service (including travel time to and from court) will take four or more hours.
  10.  Mileage reimbursement is offered for those outside Las Vegas city limits –The court provides mileage reimbursement if potential jurors live more than 65 miles away from the Regional Justice Center. Hotel accommodations may also be provided.

 

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The National Center for State Courts wants students to learn their civics lessons. They know cash prizes are a great motivator to get those creative juices flowing, so their sponsoring an essay contest. We have a lot of civic minded youth in our community. I know because we see them in the Project Real mock trials and tours we do. The topic is timely: voting. Students can win up to $1,000 if they write a winning essay. More details are defensecounselavailable on ncsc.org/contest. The deadline is February 21, 2020.

Elementary (3rd -5th grade) and middle school (6th-8th grade) students are encouraged to answer the following question in 100 words or less: Why is it so important that all citizens have the right to vote?

High school (9th-12th grade) students are encouraged to answer the following questions in 600 words or less:
Is voting a right, privilege or responsibility? Why?

 Rules for essay contest:

  • Entries for elementary school (3rd -5th grade) and middle school(6th-8th grade) students must be 100 words or less.
  • Entries for high school(9th-12th grade) students must be 600 words or less.
  • Entries should be typed and submitted on www.ncsc.org/contest.

Prizes
High School:

  • 1st place: $1,000
  • 2nd place: $500
  • 3rd place: $250

Middle School:

  • 1st place: $400
  • 2nd place: $200
  • 3rd place: $100

Elementary School:

  • 1st place: $300
  • 2nd place: $150
  • 3rd place: $100

Deadline
Friday, February 21, 2020

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