News Item
State Treatment Court Coordinator Earns Star Award for Leadership in Traffic Safety

Posted: Monday, October 29, 2018

State Treatment Court Coordinator Earns Star Award for Leadership in Traffic Safety

Statewide Treatment Court Coordinator Abby Kuschel was honored Tuesday October 23 at the Minnesota Toward Zero Deaths (TZD) Conference with a 2018 TZD Star Award for her contributions to keeping Minnesota roads safe. The TZD Star Awards are given to leaders in several fields who have demonstrated exceptional creativity, leadership, and organizational skills, and the ability to successfully motivate and collaborate with others to move toward zero deaths on Minnesota’s roads.
“Abby’s dedication to improving the lives of Minnesotans and the safety of our communities is unmatched,” said State Court Administrator Jeff Shorba. “Collaborative and multi-disciplinary efforts are hallmarks of Abby’s work, so it is fitting that TZD, which is respected for the same work is honoring her.”
Since January of 2018 Kuschel has provided statewide program support, technical assistance and information to District Courts and State Court Administration for Treatment Courts throughout Minnesota. Her work includes formulating and implementing Minnesota Judicial Branch strategic initiatives, integrating a judicial treatment court approach into court operations for cases involving alcohol and other drug addicted offenders, offenders with mental health issues, and offenders who are veterans. She serves as a faculty member for the National Association of Drug Court Professionals (NADCP) and trains teams throughout the country that are implementing drug courts in their jurisdictions.
Before joining State Court Administration Kuschel worked with drug and DWI Courts in Greater Minnesota for 10 years as the Treatment Courts Supervisor for the Ninth Judicial District where she coordinated the Itasca County Wellness Court and the Beltrami County DWI Court. Kuschel worked to develop the Itasca County Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe Wellness Court, which was the first tribal-state joint jurisdictional court in the United States, and has served as a national model for intergovernmental cooperation. Kuschel received a B.S. in Community Health Education from the University of Minnesota, Duluth.