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eighthjdcourt

Info about the Eighth Judicial District Court.

Tag Archives: Las Vegas Speciality Courts

The Nevada Eighth Judicial District court launched the first gambling treatment diversion court (GTDC) in Nevada. Judge Cheryl Moss was appointed by Chief Judge Linda Marie Bell to preside over the gambling diversion court. The GTDC will use the best practices already in place in Clark County’s other specialty courts including: veterans court, mental health court, the OPEN program, drug court, felony DUI court, family treatment drug court,  juvenile drug court and autism court.

Nevada Revised Statutes Chapter 458A was amended in 2009 to permit a defendant to enter a gambling diversion treatment program if a criminal judge deems they are eligible in lieu of incarceration. “Nevada is a world leader in gaming, so it makes perfect sense that our state lead the way when it comes to gambling treatment diversion,” said Judge Bell. “Our specialty courts have had great success rehabilitating specialty court participants and getting them onto a productive path. I believe the time is appropriate to use the proven tools of our specialty courts for a gambling treatment diversion court.”

The gambling treatment diversion court is the first of its kind in the state and the second in the nation. The first gambling court in the nation was established in Amherst, New York by now retired Judge Mark Farrell. Judge Moss will be the first judge to preside over the Nevada gambling treatment diversion court. “I’m looking forward to taking the proven strategies of our specialty courts and applying them to those who are in the justice system as a result of their gambling addiction,” said Judge Moss. “The gambling treatment court is a natural for this community and it is truly needed.” Judge Moss has an extensive background in problem gambling having lectured nationally and locally on issues related to problem gambling and the courts. She also authored a Law Review article on gambling diversion court programs across the U.S.

The Nevada Eighth Judicial District Court specialty courts are an effective way to address root-causes that lead to recidivism. 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 (EJDC) has been awarded an $381,551 U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) Office of Justice Programs grant for mental health court (MHC). The court applied to the Justice Department for the grant to employ an improved strategy in the MHC that focuses on justice involved adults in Clark County who are severely and persistently mentally ill; the majority of whom are also diagnosed with co-occurring disorders including substance abuse. Individuals with serious mental illness routinely have multiple contacts with local hospitals, jails, and prisons and end up costing taxpayers significant dollars as a result of their repeated contact with those institutions.

The EJDC MHC provides intensive treatment and will use the DOJ grant funding to implement an actuarial, gender-responsive criminogenic risk/need assessment to tailor the services and supervision for mental health court participants according to their needs. The grant will fund implementation of capacity analysis, training on the implementation of the Women’s Risk Needs Assessment and the adoption of cognitive-behavioral, gender-responsive programming.

“This funding provides resources to do risk/needs assessments to improve intervention strategies, case planning and resource management,” said Judge Elizabeth Gonzalez, who presides over the Mental Health Court. “Our goal is to reduce recidivism and facilitate positive outcomes for  Mental Health Court participants through data driven implementation of correctional rehabilitation and case planning.”

“The Department of Justice grant gives mental health court tools to improve the effectiveness of treatment aimed at preventing participants from revolving through the justice system,” said District Court Chief Judge Linda Marie Bell. “The Justice Department’s commitment to funding the mental health court validates the positive  results of treatment, versus a return of those with mental illness to the streets after incarceration with no help and the significant likelihood that they will re-offend.”

The Nevada Eighth Judicial District Court specialty courts are an effective way to address root-causes that lead to recidivism. The specialty courts include veterans court, mental health court, the OPEN program, drug court, felony DUI court, family treatment drug court, juvenile drug court and autism court. The court  is in the process of beginning a gambling treatment diversion court.

 

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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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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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Letteredited
“Life with an addicted mother is like looking down a dark tunnel.”

Being the child of an addict is the worst, but watching them grow and recover is the best. I am here to speak today because no parent truly understands what a child goes through. I had to grow up super-fast. You never know what you’re going to get with a parent who is an addict. It’s like walking on eggshells. It’s the worst feeling because it causes families to tear apart and creates so much chaos. Kids don’t know how to deal with it, and many like me keep quiet and just wonder why me? It’s a horrible, empty feeling to see everything crumbling down as a child because there is nothing you can do while your mom or dad is numbing the pain. You just sit there in silence wondering what it is like to have a normal life.

I have a little brother who I’m very attached to. I took on the role of watching him like a lot of other kids do. To this day, he is the reason I never gave up. My mom and I weren’t always close. When my mom started losing everything, I still stuck by her side for many reasons. I have believed and pushed hope one day she’d realize this isn’t what life is about. The constant moving and car rides is unfair to do to any child because it’s your choices not theirs. Looking down a dark tunnel is how to describe it in a way. It’s so hard to have no control over it.

One day, when it all came back around, my dad had taken me from my mom and my life changed in an instant. Although I wasn’t happy with my mom, I still loved her. It is so hard to not love the person who took you into this world. I will never forget the first time I saw her after. I had so many emotions and I was nervous. She was so happy to see me and looked like better in a sort. I was only allowed to see her once a week. No spending the night or any longer than a full day and I will admit at first I was over it. But slowly she gained my trust back and started to bond with me again. Once she got me to see my brother, it was the best. She had started changing because ¬¬she put me before seeing her son. She started proving to me that she was trying to mend the wall I had up. My dad was also very supportive of me and I’m glad he was there as well.

Now, I live with my mom and we’re basically the same person and are very close. I tell her everything, and love to get mani-pedi’s together or go out to eat. She has my trust 100 percent. How? It took a while, but in the end it was worth it. Never give up. There is always light at the end. My mom went from one day a week, to me living with her. After the many hardships and tears, it all worked out. There has to be rainy days to enjoy the good ones. Congrats on graduating Mom; I love you: and congrats to everyone else here today too. Mom, I’m so glad of how close we are, and how we’re the same person.

The young lady who wrote this letter inspired an entire specialty graduating class when she read it at a graduation. She hopes to go on to be a counselor and gave her permission to share it to inspire others.

Specialty courts solve issues through a rigorous and coordinated approach between judges, prosecutors, defense attorneys, Parole and Probation, law enforcement and the mental health/social service/treatment professionals. All work together to help participants recover, live crime-free and become productive citizens. The next specialty court graduation is scheduled for April 3 at 2 p.m. in the jury services room at the Regional Justice Center.

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DSC_0834Stop DUI Uses memoriam Donation from R&R Partners CEO to provide 20 new clubs to keep chronic DUI offenders off roads while in rehabilitation program

The Eighth Judicial District Court felony DUI program has had great success and accomplished much to get people’s lives on track, preserve families and control prison population. That success doesn’t happen overnight. It happens over years of intensive counseling. During that time, measures are taken to keep DUI court participants from reoffending. Ignition interlock devices are installed on participant vehicles. The devices require a passing breathalyzer of sorts prior to starting the vehicle. Ignition interlock devices are expensive, so Clubs are used to secure other vehicles that DUI court participants may have access to.

Stop DUI recently provided 20 Clubs to the felony DUI program. The Clubs had special meaning. They were donated to honor the memory of Marie Manendo, the mother of State Senator Mark Manendo. The Senator has sponsored DUI and crime victim rights legislation in the Nevada Legislature.
When his mother passed away, Senator Manendo requested that memorial contributions be donated to Stop DUI. One such contribution from Billy Vassiliadis and R&R Partners, went to purchase the 20 clubs in memory of Marie. “The Clubs are a quick measure to prevent drunk driving and have a direct and immediate impact on saving lives,” said Sandy Heverly, the co-founder and executive director of Stop DUI.

The Felony DUI Program has 445 participants in various stages of the three to five-year intensive treatment program. The Club steering wheel locks are used to secure their vehicles to prevent them from driving until they get an interlocking breath device on their vehicles. Clubs are also used to lock any vehicle where they reside that doesn’t have an ignition interlock device. A lot of Clubs are needed to secure the vehicles around that many participants. At an average cost of about $40, it gets expensive. That’s why the donation of the 20 Clubs is so appreciated.

Participants in the Felony DUI Program have three or more DUI’s in seven years and have to meet the diagnostic criterion for a substance use disorder. The Felony DUI Program is one of several District Court specialty court programs that save lives and tax dollars by solving issues through a rigorous and coordinated approach between judges, prosecutors, defense attorneys, probation, law enforcement, mental health, social service and treatment communities.

Sandy Heverly, the co-founder and executive director of Stop DUI, describes the organization as: “a Nevada grassroots non-profit organization dedicated to stopping the violent crime of driving under the influence and assisting the victims of this crime.” Visit http://www.stopdui.org for more information on the program.

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