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Tribal Healing to Wellness Courts: The Judicial Bench Book

NCJ Number
Joseph T. Flies-Away
Date Published
May 2016
73 pages
This resource book for judges of Tribal Healing to Wellness Courts provides general descriptions and guidelines for the principles and performance measures inferred from the Tribal 10 Key Components of Healing to Wellness Courts and is intended not only for the instruction of judges of such courts, but also for Wellness Court team members, tribal leaders, partners, and the community, so they can be informed about the key role of judges in implementing the objectives of Wellness Courts.
A Wellness Court is defined as "a collaborative tribal justice system that prescribes participants a comprehensive personal plan for wellness and holistically responds to their conduct over the course of months or even years." It is a diversion from the traditional formal juvenile and criminal court procedures. Both intensive support and intensive supervision are used to address the needs of those with problem behaviors related to substance abuse and addiction. The judge acts as the "captain" or the "coach" of the court team, which is tasked with addressing the diverse needs of court participants. The collaboration between the judge and the Wellness Court team provides support and encouragement to team-based case management. This Bench Book consists of two primary sections. The first section provides examples of judicial action related to each of the court's 10 component principles. The second section presents key Wellness Court processes and procedures. Both sections include Bench Cards that are intended to serve as tools that package relevant information in an abbreviated format. The Bench Cards are templates that can be tailored to each court. A list of generally helpful resources that could not be included in the Bench Cards is appended.

Date Published: May 1, 2016