In an effort to capitalize on the many years of experience garnered through the operation of drug courts across the nation, Judicial Branch Education (JBE) sponsored a symposium in drug and addictions for judge-led community teams in Omaha on October 28 and 29, 2013.
Four teams of Nebraska judges, treatment providers, defense attorneys, community members, and prosecutors have joined Omaha judge Gary Randall, Lincoln judge Stephanie Stacy, Plattsmouth judge Jeffrey Funke, and Columbus judge Robert Steinke at the Nebraska Justice Leaders Symposium on Enhancing Court Efficiency through Emerging Addiction Science, sponsored by JBE. Judge-led teams from both South and North Dakota were also in attendance along with individuals from the Iowa judicial system.
Symposium participants are given updates on the prevalence of substance abuse issues within specified communities and the correlation to their court’s jurisdiction. Experts in addiction as a brain disease with behavioral impact, key elements of recovery, and recovery management are addressed along with the application of science and evidence-based practices in judicial decision making.
The symposium is scheduled to conclude with each group creating an action plan for leadership change within the judicial system for their respective communities.
The training and travel is funded through a grant from the Center for Health and Justice working with the National Judicial College.
Photo: Judge Gary Randall’s Omaha team listens as panel experts answer questions on treatment alternatives for offenders. (Judge Randall pictured center front, far end of table)