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2023 Statewide Adult Drug Court Conference

Posted on Nov 14, 2023 in Featured News, News & Reports, Press Releases, Uncategorized
Group photo of the 2023 Statewide Adult Drug Court Conference attendees, outside overlooking the mountains at the Koʻolau Ballrooms & Conference Center, Kāne‘ohe, Oʻahu, Hawaiʻi, 10/17/2023.

Treatment court personnel from Kauaʻi, Maui, Molokaʻi, Hawaiʻi island, and Oʻahu gathered with probation officers, prosecutors, and public defenders at the Koʻolau Ballrooms & Conference Center for the 2023 Statewide Adult Drug Court Conference.

HONOLULU — Hawaiʻi’s second annual Statewide Adult Drug Court Conference drew specialty court staff and partners from across the islands to the Koʻolau Ballrooms & Conference Center in Kāne‘ohe, where they engaged with national experts discussing the latest research on treatment court best practices.

From October 17-18, 166 attendees, including judges and treatment court personnel from each judicial circuit, probation officers, prosecutors, and public defenders, participated in continuing professional education and training on methods of enhancing public safety through efficient crime reduction and prevention services. They also learned about activities that assist and guide offenders during their rehabilitation.

The event began with opening remarks by Hawaiʻi Supreme Court Chief Justice Mark E. Recktenwald. This year’s featured speakers were Steve Hanson, M.S. Ed., a senior treatment consultant for the National Association of Drug Court Professionals (NADCP); Erin Rodriguez, a licensed clinical professional counselor and licensed addiction counselor with certifications from the National Association for Alcoholism and Drug Abuse Counselors (NAADAC); Dr. Kevin Baldwin, a clinical psychologist with a dual emphasis on research and forensics; retired Montana District Judge Gregory Pinski; and Jacqueline Van Wormer, Ph.D., the director of research for the NADCP.

Presentations included updates on the influx of drugs to Hawaiʻi, the increased mental health and trauma histories probationers bring to the courts, and the most effective approaches to addressing these issues. Speakers also shared important findings on team communication, gender responsive treatment, the role of the judge in treatment, and self-care for treatment court professionals.

The event was made possible thanks to funding from a federal Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA) grant awarded to the First Circuit Drug Court program in 2020. Additional financial support was provided by the State Department of Health’s Alcohol and Drug Abuse Division (ADAD).

Organizers conveyed special thanks to the ADAD, All Rise, (formerly known as the National Drug Court Institute), Chief Justice Mark Reckentwald, First Circuit (Oʻahu) judges and staff, Chief Judge R. Mark Browning, Drug Court Judge Trish Morikawa, Deputy Chief Court Administrator Dwight Sakai, Probation Administrator Brook Mamizuka, and Adult Client Services Branch Program Specialists Vincent Borja and Kathi Fujii.

For more information, contact the Communications and Community Relations Office at 808-539-4909 or via email at

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