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eighthjdcourt

Info about the Eighth Judicial District Court.

Tag Archives: Judge Adriana Escobar

It’s hard to get and keep the attention of a class of fourth graders. Judge Tierra Jones and Judge Eric Johnson kept the attention of two fourth grade classes from Grant M. Bowler Elementary School in Logandale, NV and taught them some valuable lessons on the justice system when they put on a mock trial in District Court. The mini legal eagles got into their roles as judges, jurors, attorneys, witnesses and marshals in a trial to determine if legendary wizard Harry Potter was guilty of the misuse of magic. After hearing the testimony with built in hints on how courts work, the fourth grader found Potter not-guilty. The students peered into the holding cell which gave them a stark view of what happens to those who get caught in the justice system.

Two more classes from Grant M. Bowler will visit the court on Friday, Nov. 16 from 9:30 a.m. to noon.  Judge Kerry Earley in courtroom 12D  and Judge Adrianna Escobar will host the mock trials.

The mock trials are a cooperative effort between the Nevada Eighth Judicial District Court, nonprofit agency Project REAL and the school. In preparation for the student mock trials, Project REAL provides teachers lessons to convey the roles and processes of a criminal trial. The students get an immersive, real-world learning experience, with the benefit of Project Real classroom lessons to set the stage for better understanding. The students embark on their journey through the justice system with the legal terms and other information provided in the classroom sessions.

District Court Judge Doug Herndon envisioned the mock trial program. He wrote the script involving Harry Potter to provide a fun and interesting method for young students to learn about the justice system. The activities promote the importance of education, highlight potential legal careers and demonstrate the outcome of bad choices.

Project REAL, a 501(c)3 non-profit organization, was founded in 2005 by Sam Lionel and Irwin Molasky to meet the challenge of teaching K-12th grade Nevada students the importance of the law. They have taught over 160,000 Nevada students about the importance of the law with the goal of preparing them to be informed, law-abiding and participating citizens through their programs Your Day in Court, Play By the Rules, REAL Drama, and Independence & You. For more information from Project REAL, please contact Program Director Mike Kamer at mkamer@projectrealnv.org, call 702.703.6529, or visit http://projectrealnv.org.

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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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Four fourth grade classes from Liliam Lujan Hickey Elementary School experienced justice in action at the Eighth Judicial District Court in early April. They  also got a view on where life-choices lead when they sat in on actual criminal calendars and saw judges, court employees and attorneys perform their jobs. They watched defendants in various stages of their cases, including sentencing. After viewing the calendar, students asked judges questions about  what they saw, and how and why it works that way. The Q&A session was followed by a mock trial of Harry Potter, who was charged with misappropriation of magic. The school visits are part of a new joint program between nonprofit agency Project Real, the District Court and schools.

District Court Judge Doug Herndon envisioned this mock trial program. He wrote the script to provide a fun and interesting method for young students to learn about the justice system. The activities promote the importance of education, highlight potential legal careers and demonstrate the outcome of bad choices. “This program is a good way for young students to see the legal profession in action. When they watch actual court proceedings, they see the unfortunate consequences of criminal activity,” said Judge Herndon. “The mock trials give the students a way to relate to and understand the justice system, and see career roles that they may want to consider in the future.”

Project REAL, a 501(c)3 non-profit organization, was founded in 2005 by Sam Lionel and Irwin Molasky to meet the challenge of teaching K-12th grade Nevada students the importance of the law. They have taught over 160,000 Nevada students about the importance of the law with the goal of preparing them to be informed, law-abiding and participating citizens through their programs Your Day in Court, Play By the Rules, REAL Drama, and Independence & You. For more information from Project REAL, please contact Program Director Mike Kamer at mkamer@projectrealnv.org, call 702.703.6529, or visit http://projectrealnv.org.

The mock trial program is intended to contrast the view of careers in the justice system against the choice to get involved in criminal activity. This collaboration between the courts, Project Real and Hickey Elementary School involved a lot of work on the part of the judges and their departments in District Court, Project Real, and the teachers. Thanks to the many people who helped to make it come together so that the students could benefit from a real-world perspective.

 

 

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A recent graduate of Veterans’ court read a letter to a courtroom full of veterans who are in the process of recovering from addiction and atoning for their entanglements with the law. The new grad made the long, hard trek to recovery with the help of the therapeutic court program.

In the hopes of helping his fellow vets envision their own recovery he shared: ” I entered this program the same way all of us did, it was due to lack of accountability, responsibility and discipline. Addiction is unbiased in its pursuit. Moral deficiency, that is exactly what I thought I had. Believe me when I say I am a very disciplined person with integrity, correct morals and a firm belief in my ethics, boundaries and knowledge of my boundaries; until pain killers entered my life.

The stress of my job, the loss of my friends, the multiple high action and high stress events I’ve been through and almost lost my life while on the job, The things I’ve seen that I cannot unsee and the multiple injuries I sustained during my careers, all did not help and all built up because I did not deal with it appropriately.  Pain killers went from medicating to addiction. It slowly crept in and by the time it hit and grabbed hold, I felt loss and felt trapped.”

He expressed thoughts on his depression and how he hid it. Then he shared,” What I’ve learned is that there are three options you have when adversity or a traumatic event happens to you; you can let it define you, you can let it destroy you or you can let it strengthen you. Understand that mistakes are what you did, they’re not who you are. To help us improve and stay the course you must have an attitude of gratitude, a positive philosophy and a decision making framework that you run all decisions through, as long as you have breath in your lungs and blood in your veins, you can shape your mind and body to be successful, grateful and happy. Stay humble. And stop talking negative about who’s done you wrong and your situation, it just keeps you feeling discouraged and negative. You can’t control the thoughts that pop up in your head, but you have the power to redirect them to happy thoughts or at least calmer thoughts. And start talking more positive, more compassionate and understanding you will feel those positive feelings build and you will have re-wired your brain so that it simply becomes second nature.”

The new veterans’ court graduate challenged his fellow soldiers to thrive and persevere through their recovery and to become happy, successful and grateful. When he concluded his speech, Judge Adriana Escobar, who presides over the veterans’ court, applauded and reminded him to utilize the recovery resources in the community to stay on track. The judge gave him his certificate of completion and a hug, then Victoria Hall wrapped him in a Quilt of Valor to comfort him through any potential dark times ahead in his life-long journey of recovery.

The veteran’s letter can be seen in its entirety here: Veterans’Letter7_5_17

Victoria Hall is a Blue Star mom; her son spent 24 year in the Marine Corp assault unit. 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 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. Cheyanne 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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Recovery is a lifelong journey. Two recent District Court veterans’ court graduates will have something special to remind them to stay solid in their recovery. At a recent graduation ceremony, the vets were wrapped in a Quilt of Valor by presiding veterans’ court Judge Adrianna Escobar and the Nevada state coordinator for the Quilt of Valor Foundation, Victoria Colburn Hall. The beautiful, patriotic themed quilt was sewn by volunteers to show honor and give comfort to veterans who have served our country.

Victoria Hall is a Blue Star mom; her son spent 24 year in the Marine Corp assault unit. She thanked the vets for their service and gave a brief overview of the foundation. 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 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. Cheyanne 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.

Judge Escobar looks to veterans’ court success stories as inspiration for others going through the program. Since Sept. 2012, the veterans’ treatment court has helped veterans who are facing criminal charges as a result of substance abuse. Veterans’ court is one of several Eighth Judicial District specialty courts that save millions of tax dollars by averting repeated incarcerations due to substance abuse offenses and related crimes. 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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Scott Shepard is a veteran who ended up in the Eighth Judicial District veterans’ specialty court. He spent a year and a half going through the intensive treatment program and emerged a new and improved man. He stabilized his life, got housing and is moving forward. At his graduation from the program, presiding veterans’ court Judge Adrianna Escobar and the Nevada state coordinator for the Quilt of Valor Foundation, Victoria Colburn Hall were there to wrap him in a beautiful Quilt of Valor. The stunning, patriotic themed quilt was made by volunteers to show honor and give comfort to veterans who have served our country. Judge Escobar commended the Army veteran and said,” We are all very proud of you and you should be very proud of yourself.”

Victoria Hall is a Blue Star mom; her son spent 24 year in the Marine Corp assault unit. She thanked Scott for his service. She said, “It is very near and dear to my heart to say thank you. Every quilt is made with many hands. It is a privilege to serve, honor and comfort.” She gave a brief overview of the foundation. The Quilt of Valor Foundation was founded in 2003 by Blue Star mom Catherine Roberts from her sewing room. Blue Star moms have a son or daughter in active service. Her son Nathanael’s deployment to Iraq served as the initial inspiration for the foundation.

The local chapter of Quilt of Valor meets the second Friday of the month at 8670 W. Cheyanne 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.

Judge Escobar looks to veterans’ court success stories as inspiration for others going through the program. She said, “Veterans’ court graduates are buying houses, finishing college, getting custody of their children. What they are doing, are not the things they would be doing if they were in prison. They are getting the tools they need to be successful which ultimately makes the community much safer.”

Since Sept. 2012, the veterans’ treatment court has helped veterans who are facing criminal charges as a result of substance abuse. Veterans’ court is one of several Eighth Judicial District specialty courts that save millions of tax dollars by averting repeated incarcerations due to substance abuse offenses and related crimes. 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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In honor of the Veterans’ Court graduation and the recently celebrated Veterans’ day, the Rancho High School Color Guard will present the flags of the five major branches of the armed services (Army, Navy, Marines, Air Force and Coast Guard) to the Eighth Judicial District veterans’ court on Monday, Nov. 21 at 2 p.m. in courtroom 3F at the Regional Justice Center, 200 Lewis Ave. A ceremony will honor the military service of the veterans. The flags will remain on display in Presiding Specialty Court Judge Adriana Escobar’s courtroom.

Since Sept. 2012, the veterans’ treatment court has helped veterans who are facing criminal charges as a result of substance abuse. Veterans’ court is one of several Eighth Judicial District specialty courts that save millions of tax dollars by averting repeated incarcerations due to substance abuse offenses and related crimes. There are currently 32 active participants in veterans court and 48 graduates since 2012.

“We recently celebrated Veterans’ Day as a reminder of the sacrifices our military service people make. This flag ceremony acknowledges and respects their service and marks the achievement that our graduates make as they get their lives back on track,” said Judge Adriana Escobar who presides over the specialty courts.

The Eighth Judicial District Court recently received and began using a $1.4 million grant from the State Division of Public and Behavioral Health (DPBH) to work to end the cycle of addiction and crime through residential treatment for 80 participants, including veterans. There is a desperate need for residential substance abuse and mental health treatment in Clark County. Residential treatment with wraparound services offers judges a viable sentencing alternative to jail-time. It is an approach that has proven to have better outcomes than punitive sentencing.

Veterans’ courts are hybrid drug and mental health courts that use the drug court model to serve veterans struggling with addiction, serious mental illness and/or co-occurring disorders. They promote sobriety, recovery and stability through a coordinated response that involves cooperation and collaboration with the traditional partners found in drug and mental health courts and agencies including the Veterans Administration, the Las Vegas and Henderson veterans’ centers and Choices Group.

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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