Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2022, $2,000,000)
Category 3: Statewide
Mailing Location: 625 Marshall Street, Little Rock, AR 72201
Specialty Court Coordinator: Janet Hawley [email protected]
The Arkansas Administrative Office of the Courts (AOC) is requesting funding ($2,000,000 over 48 months) for the following enhancements: 1) Implement the use of the VRSS (Years 1, 2, 3, 4); 2) Expand SCALES to include VTC-specific measures (Years 1, 2, 3, 4); 3) Use the RANT for screening; 4) Develop and implement a Statewide VTC Certification (Years 1, 2, 3, 4); 5) Provide a Statewide VTC Workshop (Years 2, 3, 4); 6) Provide Regional VTC Mentor Bootcamps (Years 2 & 4); 7) Send the VTC Peer Evaluators (VTC-PEs) to VTC-specific training (Years 1, 2, 3, 4).
VTCs in Arkansas are pre-adjudication, post-adjudication, and hybrid. VTC target population is high risk/high need. All participants are screened/assessed by ACC personnel. Risk/needs assessment tools are used prior to intake and throughout the programs. Offenders with violent felony convictions and/or sex offense convictions are ineligible to participate in AR PSC programs. AR PSCs do not deny any eligible client for the drug court access to the program because of their use of FDA-approved medications for the treatment of substance use disorders. Local programs have been educated on medication assisted treatment (MAT) and developing a written MAT protocol.
The proposed enhancements directly align with several best practice standards of drug courts and key components of VTCs, specifically: early identification and placement, monitoring and evaluation, continuing education and training, mentoring, and use validated risk assessments. Discussion of how the AOC PSC and VTC operations align with NADCP’s Best Practice Standards can be found in the Proposal Narrative on Pages 1-10 and Pages 14-16.
The AOC previously obtained the following BJA grants for drug courts, not veterans treatment courts: 1) 2018-DC-BX-008 for statewide court data management system, 2) 2017-VV-BX-0001 for statewide training, 3) 2020-DC-BX-0004 for Adult Drug Court certification and training. However, the currently proposed VTC enhancement project does not support the continuation or duplication of any previously funded services or tasks.
Arkansas is a rural state with Qualified Opportunity Zones. See the Proposal Narrative Pages 11-13 and Attachment: Qualified Opportunity Zones.