"Tribal Healing to Wellness Courts, also known as drug courts, have proliferated within Indian country during the last two decades. The drug court model, beginning within state courts, was later adapted for tribes to better allow for the diversity of cultures, languages, needs, governance structures, and laws. Essentially, a Tribal Healing to Wellness Court, like a state drug court, integrates substance abuse treatment with the criminal justice system to provide substance-abusing offenders judicially supervised treatment and transitional services through the use of intense supervision, sanctions and incentives, and drug testing in a non-punitive setting. Healing to Wellness Court is the coming together of agencies and systems that do not traditionally interact. Agencies have different goals, priorities, and structures. It is therefore essential for the Wellness Court to have its own strong foundation. By documenting the structure and procedures of the Wellness Court, the policies and procedures manual aids in securing the long-term future of the Court … A policies and procedures manual is a necessary tool to successfully implement and operate a Tribal Healing to Wellness Court. From the court’s outset, a policies and procedures manual, adopted through the formal tribal governmental process, can officially establish the Healing to Wellness Court (Wellness Court) and describe the type of court. Upfront designations assist in determining whether a participant is appropriate for the Wellness Court. A policies and procedures manual describes the target population, such as adult, juvenile, or parents involved in dependency court, also known as family Healing to Wellness Court. The manual also documents the agencies, team member roles, and services that will be provided to the target population by team members" (p. 1, 3). This manual is comprised of thirteen chapters: the big picture and target population; entry into Wellness Court and Team and participant rules; Team roles and responsibilities; treatment and phase systems; the judge and Wellness Court staffing and hearings; probation, case manager, or other supervision; alcohol and drug testing; data tracking and evaluation; wellness team; appendices to Tribal Policies and Procedures Manual; Participant Handbooks; statutory provisions; and agreements.
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Tribal Healing to Wellness Courts: The Policies and Procedures Guide
Accession Number: 031300
U.S. Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA) (Washington, DC)