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eighthjdcourt

Info about the Eighth Judicial District Court.

Tag Archives: Melisa De La Garza

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 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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Project 48 has been selected by the National Association of Counties for their 2016 Achievement Award in the category of Court Administration and Management. The project was initiated by the Nevada Eighth Judicial District Court (EJDC) to ease stress on the Clark County Detention Center by cutting criminal bind-overs from Justice Court to District Court down to 48 hours. Project 48 has produced nearly $1.6 million in direct savings in just one year alone from 11,888 jail days saved. With a lack of resources to cover incarceration costs, growing with each new inmate ($135 per-day per-inmate), and escalating safety and security issues for the inmates and officers, the EJDC looked for ways to work with the Detention Center to safely reduce the jail population. That was the genesis of Project 48.

“It is gratifying to get national recognition for the cooperative effort of Project 48, which has significantly improved the transfer of jurisdiction from Justice Court to District Court for cases in the criminal system. Project 48 has resulted in multiple benefits including significant cost savings. I want to commend the agencies and individuals who played a role in making this project a success,” said District Court Chief Judge David Barker.

District Court examined areas where efficiencies could reduce the average length of stay. The transition of a case from the limited jurisdiction (Las Vegas Justice Court) to the felony trial court (EJDC), the “criminal bind-over,” was identified as an area to use technology to streamline case-flow processing. In February of 2015, District Court brought together a consortium of justice professionals to make the process work including: The Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Dept., District Attorney’s Office, Public Defenders’ Office, Justice Court, District Court, and the Nevada Criminal Defense Lawyers. Each entity participated in the planning, shared insights and ideas, and made adjustments to their work models to achieve success. The EJDC Information Technology division put technology to work to shorten the bind-over process. EJDC IT worked with Justice Court IT to integrate the Justice Court and EJDC case management systems and integrate with the jail. The technology was shared with all the justice courts in Clark County. Project 48 not only impacts the average length of time in custody, it gets those who have been jailed back to their families and their lives quicker, reducing the potential for disruption to their professional and home life, and the potential residual fallout that results from unnecessary confinement. Prior to Project 48, standard setting times for criminal bind-overs to arraignment court were 10-15 days. Project 48 cut criminal bind-overs from 10-15 days to 48 hours. Nearly 11,888 jail days were saved in the first year alone. Project 48, eases stress on the overcrowded jail and reduces unnecessary confinement. Since April 2015, the program is estimated to have already saved more than $1.6 million.

 

The Nevada Eighth Judicial District Court judges and staff continuously work to develop new ideas, maximize efficiencies and improve access to justice. For more information about the District Court, please visit our website at clarkcountycourts.us, Facebook at Clark County Courts, Twitter at

M Price@LasVegasCourts or blog at https://eighthjdcourt.wordpress.com.

 

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