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eighthjdcourt

Info about the Eighth Judicial District Court.

Tag Archives: Bita Yeager

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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Bita Yeager has been named to fill the hearing master position for the Eighth Judicial District specialty courts. She was selected through a three-tiered recruitment process, established in an administrative directive for selecting District Court hearing masters and commissioners, that includes public input.

“Bita Yeager brings a diverse wealth of experience to the position of hearing master for the specialty courts,” said Eighth Judicial District Court Chief Judge Elizabeth Gonzalez. “Her qualifications are well-suited to the rigorous nature of the specialty courts and I anticipate that she will be a strong asset to the program that has great success turning lives around.”

Bita Yeager just finished her term as Justice of the Peace after becoming the first Asian-American to be appointed to the Las Vegas Justice Court. She specialized in indigent criminal defense for more than18 years with the Clark County Public Defender’s Office where, for a number of years, she handled the specialty courts dealing with the mentally ill. She has taught classes regarding the mentally ill in the justice system to both attorneys and Metro Officers (as part of their Crisis Intervention Team training).

In an effort to prevent recidivism, as a team chief at the Public Defender’s office, Bita spearheaded the creation of the North Las Vegas Community Court, a diversionary court providing counseling and employment training to young non-violent offenders. She also established a partnership between the Clark County Public Defender’s Office, Legal Aid of Southern Nevada, and UNLV’s Boyd School of Law to create a pro bono record-sealing project, called “Clean Slate.” She created a partnership with the Immigration Clinic at UNLV’s Boyd School of Law, to help the attorneys in her office better advise non-citizen clients of the immigration consequences of their cases. In 2014, as a result of her efforts, Bita was awarded the Pro Bono Project Award of Excellence from Legal Aid Center of Southern Nevada, and the President’s Award from the Nevada Attorneys for Criminal Justice.

Bita earned her undergraduate degree from Brigham Young University and her Juris Doctorate from the  J. Reuben Clark School of Law.

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. 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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