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Info about the Eighth Judicial District Court.

Category Archives: Specialty Courts

A gambling diversion treatment court mock trial with Eighth Judicial District Court Judge Cheryl Moss filled a conference room at the 17th International Conference on Gambling & Risk Taking on May 30 at Caesars Palace Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas. The mock trial presented a step-by-step look at a gambling diversion eligibility hearing.

More than 500 professionals from at least 34 countries from across the globe came to the gaming mecca of the world to learn what’s new. Topics at the four-day conference included innovation in policy, regulation, consumer protection, and problem gambling. Judge Moss presided over the mock trial with participation from moderator Carol O’Hare with Nevada Council on Problem Gambling; Dayvid Figler and Caitlyn McAmis with Figler Law Group; Sydney Smith with RISE Center for Recovery; and  Stephanie Hui, Eighth Judicial specialty court coordinator and a volunteer from the audience. The question and answer session ran over as doctors, gaming executives, researchers and other professionals peppered Judge Moss and the mock trial team with questions.

The District Court gambling diversion treatment court is the second in the nation. As gambling is springing up in states across the nation, the gambling treatment court is breaking ground in a much needed field. Professionals from courts in several states have been researching the Nevada Eighth Judicial District Court model for adoption in their courts. “The International Conference on Gambling & Risk Taking was a fantastic opportunity to raise awareness about our gambling diversion treatment court to the world,” said Judge Moss, who presides over the specialty court.

Judge Moss has been invited to multiple future conferences to present on the gambling treatment diversion court including speaking engagements for the State Bar of Nevada Gaming Law Section, the National Center for Responsible Gaming, and the State of Rhode Island Judiciary and treatment professionals.

The Nevada Eighth Judicial District Court specialty courts are an effective way to prevent participants from revolving through the justice system. Specialty courts, solve issues through a rigorous and coordinated approach between judges, prosecutors, defense attorneys, Parole and Probation, law enforcement and mental health/social service/treatment professionals. All work together to help participants recover, live crime-free and become productive citizens.

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The Nevada Eighth Judicial District Court will celebrate a new class of specialty court graduates on May 10 at 3 p.m. in the jury services room of the Regional Justice Center, 200 Lewis Ave. The graduates will include two who are part of a specialty court prison re-entry program.

The District Court was recently awarded a grant of nearly $350,000 from the Nevada Division of Public and Behavioral Health (DPBH) Bureau of Behavioral Health Wellness and Prevention Opioid State Targeted Response (STR). The grant is being used for a comprehensive specialty court prevention plan with medically assisted treatment (MAT) for opiate abuse among those who are re-entering the community after incarceration.

An estimated 65 percent of individuals in U.S. prisons and jails have a substance abuse disorder. Opioids rank high as their drug of choice. Medically assisted treatment paired with counseling treatment, has proven to be an effective way to address addiction, put a dent in the opioid epidemic and stem the related criminal activity. Effective treatment provides better results at a lower cost than repeated incarceration.

Specialty court coordinators, the parole re-entry unit, and prison/jail professionals work together to identify program participants who go through an intensive six-month program that begins with a three-month stabilization period. Participants are placed in coordinated care housing and receive inpatient and/or intensive outpatient services, case management, medically assisted treatment, discharge planning and assistance with coordination of long-term housing, permanent housing, and assistance with obtaining food stamps, medical care, Medicaid and other programs such as Social Security. They are also provided case management around employment assistance including referrals, and training. The goal is to increase employment among the participants to improve the likelihood of success, cut substance abuse and decrease recidivism.

“This Nevada Division of Public and Behavioral Health funding enables the court, with the help of the Nevada Department of Corrections, to effectively tackle the epidemic of opioid abuse that is thwarting potential rehabilitation for those who are released from incarceration with a substance abuse issue,” said District Court Chief Judge Linda Marie Bell, who presides over the MAT specialty court. “We cannot incarcerate our way out of the opioid crisis. Creative solutions such as this must be used to stem the tide of this epidemic.”

“The infusion of federal funding to Nevada continues to allow us to improve access to treatment and recovery support services for people with significant barriers to care.  We know that individuals within the criminal justice system have a greater risk of overdose death than other people.  Through this collaboration with the Eighth Judicial District, we hope we can reduce that risk and support people to move to full recovery from opioid addiction.  Medication Assisted Treatment is the gold standard for care and access within court systems is critical in addressing the opioid crisis,” said Dr. Stephanie Woodard, DHHS Senior Advisor on Behavioral Health, from the Division of Public and Behavioral Health.

Specialty courts, solve issues through a rigorous and coordinated approach between judges, specialty court coordinators, prosecutors, defense attorneys, Parole and Probation, law enforcement and mental health/social service/treatment professionals. All work together to help participants recover, live crime-free and become productive citizens.  Thirteen participants are in the MAT program that is expected to eventually have 30 participants. Court sessions began in December 2018 and are held every other Friday at 9:30 a.m.

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At every specialty court graduation, at least one person tells those gathered that the program saved their life. At the November graduation a drug court graduate said just that. They weren’t exaggerating. Those that end up in specialty courts get there after heading down a very dangerous path. Most participants have had multiple felony arrests, lost their family, friends, jobs and stability. The death toll from the opioid crisis is well publicized and touches families from every walk of life.

Those arrested generally end up revolving through overcrowded prisons. Specialty courts offer an alternative. Specialty courts work to address substance abuse and the related crimes issues through a rigorous and coordinated approach between judges, prosecutors, defense attorneys, Parole and Probation, law enforcement and mental health/social service/treatment professionals. All work together to help participants recover, live crime-free and become productive citizens.

The Nevada Eighth Judicial District specialty courts include veterans’ court, mental health court, the OPEN program, drug court, felony DUI court, family treatment drug court, autism court and a new gambling treatment court. Every graduation their success can be seen in the eyes of the family and friends who come to support their loved one back from the abyss.

A graduate from veterans’ court told the graduates, “The greatest gift you can give your family is your recovery.”

Six veterans were included in the graduates. A color guard opened the ceremony and the graduates each received a Quilt of Valor from the Las Vegas chapter of the organization. The Quilt of Valor Foundation was founded in 2003, by Blue Star mom Catherine Roberts from her sewing room. Blue Star moms are those who have a son or daughter in active service. Her son Nathanael’s deployment to Iraq served as the initial inspiration for the foundation. That has since spread across the nation and presented thousands of quilts nationwide to those who have served our country.

The local chapter of Quilt of Valor meets the second Friday of the month at 8670 W. Cheyenne Ave. from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. in room 105. Volunteers are always welcome; no quilting experience is necessary. For more information call 702-357-0377.

Specialty court graduates get good advice from judge

Specialty court grads experience rebirth

Drug court saved my life

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The Nevada Eighth Judicial District Court (EJDC) has been awarded an $874,097 U.S. Department of Justice Office of Justice Programs grant for Family Treatment Drug Court inpatient treatment and housing with intensive outpatient treatment. The court applied to the Justice Department for the much needed funding that will break down to approximately $291,365 a year. The grant will cover 13 residential beds and 13 housing slots with intensive outpatient treatment each year until Sept. 30, 2021. The funding will help to meet the court goal to improve outcomes through enhanced wraparound services to reunify families, increase parent treatment engagement and retention, decrease substance abuse and improve family functioning. The surge of opioid abuse has overwhelmed child welfare systems across the county and in our community.

“This Department of Justice grant is greatly needed and appreciated. The funding will go to address the crisis-level need in the Family Treatment Drug Court for housing and wraparound services,” said District Court Chief Judge Linda Marie Bell. “Each family that achieves a successful outcome as a result of this funding will create a positive ripple effect for their children and the community.”

The District Court Family Treatment Drug Court program is a voluntary program. Parents are typically referred to the program by their Department of Family Services (DFS) case manager and/or the judge presiding over their case. Participation in the program involves either a written referral from the DFS case manager, and/or parental request to start the program.

“Every day in court, we see the toll drugs take on families. Parental addiction as a contributing factor for removal of children is a growing issue,” said Judge Frank Sullivan who presides over the Family Treatment Drug Court. “This much needed funding gives us the ability to keep families intact as parents get the treatment and services they need to recover and care for their children.”

Family Treatment Drug Court has four phases or milestones to assist the parent in working through the complex issues of their addiction and co-occurring disorders in a meaningful and manageable way. Incentives and sanctions are used to achieve success. Parents are typically required to attend court weekly in the initial stages of treatment. Drug and alcohol testing provides an accurate, timely and comprehensive assessment of substance use and treatment progress by participants. The judge is provided updates on treatment attendance and progress, drug test results, and overall case status/progress.

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The monthly celebration to mark graduations from intensive specialty court treatment programs had 51 participants cross the finish line to start their lifelong process to be substance-abuse free. The graduations spread a positive ripple-effect through the people in their families and the community. Their families now have a loved one who is contributing instead of disrupting their lives. The community as whole will also benefit from this group of people committed to a better life. At an estimated jail cost of $135 per-day per-inmate, 51 successful graduates will save more than $2.5 million a year in incarceration costs alone. The social benefits are immeasurable from those who want to contribute to the community instead of disrupt. The graduating class includes participants from veterans’ court, mental health court, the OPEN program, drug court and felony DUI court.

Six veterans were part of the large August graduating class. They were wrapped in beautiful quilts specially made by the Quilts of Valor non-profit organization to give them comfort and remind them that their service is appreciated.

Specialty courts solve issues through a rigorous and coordinated approach between judges, prosecutors, defense attorneys, Parole and Probation, law enforcement, court program coordinators and mental health/social service/treatment professionals. All work together to help participants recover, live crime-free and become productive citizens. The National Association of Drug Court Professionals reports: “nationwide, 75 percent of drug court graduates remain arrest-free at least two years after leaving the program. Drug courts reduce crime as much as 35 percent more than other sentencing options.”

The Eighth Judicial District Specialty Courts were recently awarded a grant of $1million from the Substance Abuse Prevention Treatment Agency (SAPTA) to provide sober living and residential treatment placements for individuals in the Clark County Detention Center (CCDC). The SAPTA Grant provides funding for sober living facilities and residential bed infrastructure in Clark County to reduce the average number of days jailed drug court candidates spend waiting for residential placement. Drug court participants have significantly higher rates of success in programs that offer a continuum of care for substance abuse treatment with residential treatment and sober living. That success reduces the burdens on the jail, the justice system and the community as a whole. In FY 2018, 111 participants were provided residential treatment and 189 were provided supportive sober living, with 162 participants obtaining employment.

The Quilts of Valor Foundation was founded in 2003, by Blue Star mom Catherine Roberts from her sewing room. Blue Star moms are those who have a son or daughter in active service. Her son Nathanael’s deployment to Iraq served as the initial inspiration for the foundation. That has since presented thousands of quilts nationwide to those who have served our country.

The local chapter of Quilts of Valor meets the second Friday of the month at 8670 W. Cheyenne Ave. from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. in room 105. Volunteers are always welcome; no quilting experience is necessary. For more information call 702-357-0377.

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The Eighth Judicial District Specialty Courts have been awarded a grant of $1million from the Substance Abuse Prevention Treatment Agency (SAPTA) to provide sober living and residential treatment placements for individuals in the Clark County Detention Center (CCDC). The SAPTA Grant provides funding for sober living facilities and residential bed infrastructure in Clark County to reduce the average number of days jailed drug court candidates spend waiting for residential placement. Drug court participants have significantly higher rates of success in programs that offer a continuum of care for substance abuse treatment with residential treatment and sober living. That success reduces the burdens on the jail, the justice system and the community as a whole.

In FY 2018, 111 participants were provided residential treatment and 189 were provided supportive sober living, with 162 participants obtaining employment.

In compliance with the National Association of Drug Court Professionals (NADCP) recommended adult drug court practices, individuals in need of substance abuse treatment should not be incarcerated to achieve clinical or social service objectives. Clark County has a growing need for sufficient sober living and residential placement facilities for inpatient substance abuse treatment. As a result, individuals remain in jail awaiting substance abuse treatment. The District Court estimates the annual fiscal savings that will result to Clark County at more than $4 million in averted incarceration and associated criminal justice costs.

“I am grateful to receive this grant money to provide sober living and residential treatment placements for specialty court participants,” said Chief Judge Linda Marie Bell. “This funding greatly improves the chances of success for those who are provided placements, reduces the critically overcrowded jail population, and saves millions of dollars in avoided incarceration costs.”

Specialty courts solve issues through a rigorous and coordinated approach between judges, prosecutors, defense attorneys, Parole and Probation, law enforcement, court program coordinators and mental health/social service/treatment professionals. All work together to help participants recover, live crime-free and become productive citizens. The National Association of Drug Court Professionals reports: “nationwide, 75 percent of drug court graduates remain arrest-free at least two years after leaving the program. Drug courts reduce crime as much as 35 percent more than other sentencing options.”

 

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When you walk into a specialty court graduation ceremony you know you’re entering something really special. There is excitement and optimism in the air. Families and friends are present with balloons, flowers and cake to support their loved ones. The monthly District Court graduations in the jury services room mark a point of change. Hearing Master Melissa De La Garza reminds participants to savor the moment and remember how they feel as they graduate. The grads will need that thought and that feeling to carry them through the tough times and help them to maintain their commitment to be substance-abuse free.

Hearing Master Melissa De La Garza https://youtu.be/IjM_Mdawo44

Deputy Public Defender Christy Craig https://youtu.be/jf94O1_qMt8

Each month, nearly 30 participants graduate from intensive specialty court treatment programs. Eighty-nine participants graduated from the District specialty courts programs in the past three months. Multiply that times all the people in their families and you can get a sense of the kind of impact that the programs are having on the community. That’s 89 families who have a loved one who is contributing instead of disrupting their lives. The community as whole will also benefit from this wave of people committed to a better life. At an estimated jail cost of $135 per-day per-inmate, 89 successful graduates saves $12,015 a night and more than $4.3  million a year in incarceration costs alone. The social benefits are immeasurable. The graduating class includes participants from veterans court, mental health court, the OPEN program, drug court and felony DUI court.

Kicking addiction and giving up the life that goes with it isn’t easy. “I know you worked really hard to get to this point it is just the beginning though and there is a lot of work to do in the future. It is a great time to celebrate the accomplishments you have achieved so far,” said Judge Linda Bell, who presides over specialty courts. “We really look forward seeing all the things that you do as you move on from specialty courts.”

Judge Linda Marie Bell at specialty court graduation https://youtu.be/LI45EnZ-mR4

Specialty courts take a rigorous and coordinated approach between judges, prosecutors, defense attorneys, Parole and Probation, law enforcement and mental health/social service/treatment professionals to make the transition possible. All work together to help participants recover, live crime-free and become productive citizens and it’s worth it. Treating addiction and related disorders has proven to be a much more effective way to address crime surround substance abuse rather than let low-level offenders revolve through the prison system.

“It’s not the end of the road for your sobriety. It’s a lifetime of sobriety,” said Jude Carolyn Ellsworth, who presides over drug court. “Now you have the tools and you know how to handle things when time get rough.”

Judge Carolyn Ellsworth https://youtu.be/oKy9-BQGxFU

Jarenie Trachier Quilts of Valor non-profit organization

https://youtu.be/ieSH3VlX4IQ

Deputy Public Defender Christy Craig https://youtu.be/jf94O1_qMt8

 

Judge Linda Marie Bell at specialty court graduation

https://youtu.be/LI45EnZ-mR4

Judge Carolyn Ellsworth

https://youtu.be/oKy9-BQGxFU

Hearing Master Melissa De La Garza

https://youtu.be/IjM_Mdawo44

Deputy Public Defender Christy Craig

https://youtu.be/jf94O1_qMt8

Jarenie Trachier Quilts of Valor non-profit organization

https://youtu.be/ieSH3VlX4IQ

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