Judiciary Convenes Hawaii’s First Statewide Adult Drug Court ConferencePosted on Oct 25, 2022 in Featured News, News & Reports
The Judiciary convened Hawaii’s first-ever Statewide Adult Drug Court Conference, August 31 to September 1. Specialty court staff and partners from across the islands found it to be a valuable opportunity to engage with national experts discussing the latest research on treatment court best practices.
Thanks to funding from a federal Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA) grant awarded to the First Circuit Drug Court program in 2020, a team of Judiciary staff was able to bring speakers from the National Association of Drug Court Professionals (NADCP) 2022 Annual Conference, “RISE22,” to present their findings and recommendations. The grant also provided the means for 33 treatment court personnel from Kauai, Maui, Molokai, and Hawaii island to attend as part of their continuing professional education and training.
The State Department of Health’s Alcohol and Drug Abuse Division served as event co-sponsor, allocating funds for conference facilities at the Ala Moana Hotel and meals for the attendees.
“The conference would not have been possible without the team of people who contributed to the months of planning and coordination,” said Kathi Fujii, Program Specialist with the First Circuit’s Adult Client Services Branch.
“Some of Hawaii’s criminal justice and treatment court professionals are not able to attend the national conferences each year. The BJA grant enabled us to bring a significant component of the 2022 conference to Oahu. Eighty Judiciary staff members and judges from the drug courts, veterans courts, and mental health courts, had a rare opportunity to collaborate with prosecutors, public defenders, staff of the United States Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), volunteer mentors, and independent treatment providers at this conference. We learned strategies and best practices to work more effectively with clients, ensure greater consistency in the specialty court programs, and make our communities safer through reduced recidivism (i.e., the tendency of a convicted criminal to reoffend).
“The work of our treatment courts is important because the assistance that program participants receive directly benefits their family members, neighbors, communities, and especially their children – Hawaii’s next generation,” said Fujii.
The event began with keynote addresses by Hawaii Supreme Court Chief Justice Mark E. Recktenwald and First Circuit Chief Judge R. Mark Browning. Guest speakers Shannon M. Carey, PhD; Vanessa Price; Steve Hanson M.S.Ed.; Helen Harberts, M.A., J.D.; Carol Venditto M.P.A.; Niki Wright, PsyD, CSAC made presentations on:
• Drug Court Best Practices – Volumes 1 and 2
• Trauma Informed Care
• Drug Testing: Best Practices
• Drug Testing: Myth Busters
• Secondary Trauma and its impact on the team
• Incentives and Sanctions
• Impacts of Substance Use on the Brain and Behavior
• Risk Need, and Responsivity for Substance Use Disorder Clients
The program also featured essential instruction on self-care for staff, and an informative presentation on Native Hawaiian Cultural Practices/Alternatives for Clients with Opioid Addiction by Niki Wright and Makani Tabura of the Waianae Coast Comprehensive Health Center (Ho’okuola Hale Program).