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eighthjdcourt

Info about the Eighth Judicial District Court.

Category Archives: Dependency Mothers’ Drug Court

Judge Jennifer Elliot has been presiding over the dependency mothers’ drug court since 2008. It is a program that has helped to get many mothers away from the clutches of addiction and into the arms of their children. This week, three more moms graduated from the program.  That’s a handful of kids who won’t have to be in foster care; who won’t have to wonder where mom is; and who will have someone who loves them and deeply cares for them.

In front of others going through the program, Judge Elliot asked each of the graduates how they felt upon graduation. She said, “Nobody knows what the journey is going to look like when they start out, and I want others to hear how to be successful at it.” The moms graduating lit up when given the opportunity to share how they felt. One mom said, “I’m very, very happy where I am and how far I’ve come.  It’s amazing being able to be with my son, sober; to watch him grow and remember that.” Judge Elliot told each of the graduates that she was very proud of them. She also offered a word of advice to a father with one of the graduating moms, who has his own struggles. She said, “Setback doesn’t mean failure, it just means you just have to keep on keeping on.”

Judge Elliot is turning over the administration of the dependency mothers’ drug court to Judge Frank Sullivan who handles abuse and neglect cases. She told those in court that Judge Sullivan would ensure that the program would continue to be successful. Judge Sullivan responded, “No one can replace Judge Elliot.” Program participants gave Judge Elliot a giant farewell card. The judge who launched the specialty court aimed at helping moms with addiction won’t be managing the day-to-day of the program, but the legacy of what she accomplished since 2008 will carry on for generations.

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Children from three families will now have the most important person in the world back in their lives, after two mothers and one father recently graduated from the Eighth Judicial District mothers’/fathers’ specialty court. All three completed a rigorous in-patient treatment program, that involved spending between six and 12 months in the WestCare treatment facility learning a new way of life.

The graduation was attended by Judge Jennifer Elliot who presides over the Dependency Mothers’ Drug Court, the treatment providers, specialty court staff and fellow specialty court participants. The fellow drug court participants got to see how successful recovery looks. They got to witness someone in a situation much like their own, turn their life around, have their children in their lives in a meaningful way, and leave drugs and crime behind.

When judges enter a courtroom, all rise as a sign of respect. Judge Elliot and the courtroom gallery all rise when participants graduate from the mothers’/fathers’ specialty court. The children of the graduates now have the person who loves them, the way only a parent can, back in their lives making them dinner, helping with homework, giving them love, and being part of their dreams. Their families and our community are better for it.

Since 1992, the Eighth Judicial District Court has been responding to the emerging social issues of addiction and mental health by establishing specialty courts. Each day, the court handles cases on the many crimes committed by people addicted to illegal drugs or suffering from mental illness. The Dependency Mothers’ Drug Court  is a partnership between Nevada’s Division of Child and Family Services, Clark County Department of Family Services, Clark County Specialty Courts and WestCare of Southern Nevada. Components that make the program work are early intervention services, coordinated clinical assessment, coordinated case management, program referral, residential treatment services including reunification services, parenting skills education, outpatient support services, staff training support and client transportation.

 

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