Treatment Court Coverage Continues to Expand
In 2018, there were 66 treatment courts serving 70 counties in operation throughout Minnesota. Treatment court is an umbrella term that includes drug courts, DWI courts, juvenile drug courts, mental health courts, family dependency courts, veterans courts, and courts that are a hybrid of several types of treatment courts. Treatment courts are a collaborative effort to target court users with a high recidivism potential. Treatment courts result in more defendants turning their lives around and becoming healthy, law-abiding citizens. Research
also shows that when these strategies are implemented correctly, they improve public safety, reduce recidivism, and save taxpayer dollars.
Local and national recognition
Minnesota treatment courts and leaders were recognized in 2018 for their contributions to improving public safety.
Statewide Treatment Court Coordinator Abby Kuschel was honored in October 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.
In June, Duluth-chambered Judge Shaun R. Floerke was honored at the Harold E. Hughes Awards of Excellence Luncheon during the National Rural Institute on Alcohol and Drug Abuse award ceremony at the University of Wisconsin, Stout campus. Judge Floerke was awarded the Exceptional Rural Professional Award, which is given to rural professionals for outstanding contributions to the field of drug and alcohol recovery. Judge Floerke was recognized for his local and national contributions to address the opioid crisis, and his work with the South St. Louis County DWI Court. Judge Floerke was also selected in 2018 to serve on the National Judicial Opioid Task Force, which fights the opioid epidemic locally and at a systems-level nationwide.
The National Association of Drug Court Professionals (NADCP) awarded the prestigious DWI Court Leadership Award to the South St. Louis County DWI Court team. The team received the Award on June 2 at the 2018 NADCP National Conference in Houston, Texas. The Award recognizes South St. Louis County DWI Court’s tireless efforts to expand treatment for felony DWI offenders and making the community a safer place for all citizens. The National Center for DWI Courts DWI Court Leadership Award is presented annually to individuals and programs that have made preeminent contributions to reducing impaired driving.
New Policies Come Out of Committee for Equality and Justice Work
New performance measures were approved in 2018 based on recommendations received from the Committee for Equality and Justice (CEJ)
. The goal of these policy changes is to ensure the Judicial Branch has sufficient race data to analyze whether persons are treated fairly regardless of their race or ethnicity.
- Judicial districts are to maintain race data collection rates of at least 80% on the following case types: Major Criminal, Minor Criminal, Juvenile Delinquency, and Petty and Juvenile Protection.
- Districts should strive for collection rates of at least 90%.
- The new performance standards have been added to Judicial Council policies 505 and 505.2, and were effective January 1, 2019.
The 2018 Diversity and Inclusion Annual Report summarizes the substantial outreach, recruitment, and education efforts conducted throughout the state. It was delivered to the CEJ and judicial partners and presented at the National Consortium on Racial and Ethnic Fairness in the Courts earlier this year.