News Item
Ramsey County District Court Receives Grant to Enhance and Expand Services in Four Treatment Courts

Posted: Tuesday, August 14, 2018

The Ramsey County District Court has received a five-year Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration grant for almost $2 million to enhance and expand substance abuse treatment services in its four treatment courts. There are approximately 150 participants in Ramsey County’s four courts – Adult Substance Abuse (Drug) Court, DWI Court, Mental Health Court and Veterans Treatment Court. Ramsey County is unique because it is one of only a few jurisdictions that operate multiple treatment courts as a coordinated unit.
“This is an exciting opportunity that will allow our treatment courts to continue their innovative and transformative work,” said Second Judicial Chief Judge John Guthmann. Research demonstrates that treatment courts reduce recidivism, which enhances public safety.
The purpose of the grant program is to expand substance use disorder (SUD) treatment services in existing adult treatment courts and Tribal Healing to Wellness courts. These courts use the treatment drug court model in order to provide SUD treatment, including recovery support services, screening, assessment, case management, and program coordination, to defendants/offenders.
The total grant amount for the five years is $1,855,879. The funding will be mainly used for:
  • Adding two treatment focused positions – a behavioral health assessor that will allow for chemical and mental health evaluations to be conducted on all treatment court referrals and a clinical liaison who will help build closer partnerships with community treatment providers.
  • Screening all treatment court referrals for trauma and providing trauma therapy.
  • Providing Certified Peer Recovery Specialists for all participants to support their recovery and long term sobriety.
“Many of the activities implemented with this grant funding will allow us to essentially pilot Minnesota’s Substance Use Disorder Reform,” said Second Judicial District Court’s presiding Treatment Court Judge Mark Ireland. “Our hope is that by the end of the five-year grant, we will be ahead of the curve and already have the reform in place and the related positions sustained.”
Ramsey County District Court will be partnering with the National Center for State Courts, which will conduct evaluations of the courts during the grant period.