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Southern Ute Adult Wellness Court

Award Information

Award #
Congressional District
Funding First Awarded
Total funding (to date)

Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2008, $200,000)

The Drug Court Discretionary Grant Program is designed to assist states, state courts, local courts, units of local government, and Indian tribal governments in developing and establishing drug courts for substance-abusing adult and juvenile offenders. Drug court programs funded by the Drug Court Discretionary Grant Program are required by law to target nonviolent offenders. The Program supports the following activities:
adult drug court implementation, single jurisdiction drug court enhancement, statewide drug court enhancement, and planning efforts.

The Southern Ute Indian Tribe will use Fiscal Year (FY) 2008 Single Jurisdiction Drug Court Enhancement grant funds to tailor alcohol and substance abuse treatment services to meet the cultural needs of Native men and women living on the Southern Ute Indian Reservation.

Alcohol-related fatalities on the Southern Ute Reservation are 5 times greater than the rate of other Colorado residents. Repeat DUI offenses are almost twice as frequent on the Reservation (46.7%) verses the rate of other Colorado residents (26.5%). The average Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) for convicted offenders living on the Reservation is .188 compared to the Colorado average BAC of .150. Females represent 46% of all Tribal Adult DUI Court offenders and greatly outnumber their male counterparts.

Alcohol abuse has been linked to intergenerational unresolved trauma and loss. The persistent social problems in Indian Country, including deaths, disturbances, violence, family breakdown, fetal alcohol syndrome, and attachment disorders in children are not adequately addressed in standard drug court practices.

The Tribal Adult DUI Court sponsors a "Drug Court Lite" program, featuring many components of a full drug court but excludes two costly features: a treatment team to coordinate alcohol and substance abuse treatment services and mental health services. The Court serves non-violent substance abuse offenders who make up 86.7% of DUI convictions. Eligible clients have two or more DUI offenses, and/or a BAC of .20 or higher. The Tribal Adult DUI Court's enhancement program will address the needs of offenders between 18 and 32 years old, whose persistent substance abuse related crimes are undermining the safety and wellbeing of the community. The targeted population are young mothers and fathers with children at risk of harm and/or neglect, lack of necessary education or skills to obtain and sustain employment, and whom require assistance transitioning into society. Alcohol abuse among young mothers on the Reservation has caused newborn fetal alcohol syndrome, preschool children being removed from the home and suffering attachment disorders and adolescent children becoming at risk of early substance use.

The Southern Ute Indian Tribal Adult Wellness Court program will provide intense judicial supervision and reduce injuries, fatalities, crime, and harm to others caused by non-violent substance abuse. The Wellness Court program will hire a parenting and finance educator, and cultural expert in coming-of-age traditions, develop individual substance abuse treatment plans for program participants and coordinate treatment services provided by community-based organizations.


Date Created: September 2, 2008