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Tribal Healing to Wellness Courts: The Key Components

NCJ Number
Date Published
May 2003
42 pages
This booklet explains each of 10 key components of Tribal Healing to Wellness Courts (drug courts), followed by several recommended practices that provide guidance for implementing each component.
The first key component is to integrate community healing resources with the tribal justice process, using a team approach to achieve the physical and spiritual healing of the participant and the well-being of the community. The second key component involves having participants enter the wellness court program through various referral mechanisms and legal procedures while protecting participants' due process rights. The third key component requires that eligible substance-abuse offenders be identified early through legal and clinical screening for eligibility; those found eligible should be promptly placed in the wellness program. The fourth key component is the provision of holistic, structured, and phased substance abuse treatment and rehabilitation services that incorporate tribal culture and tradition. The fifth key component is monitoring of participants through intensive supervision that includes frequent and random testing for alcohol and other substance use. A sixth key component is the incorporation into the program of progressive consequences or sanctions and rewards that encourage participant compliance with program requirements. The seventh key component involves ongoing interaction of participants with court judges and the involvement of judges in team staffing. The eighth key component is monitoring and evaluation to measure the achievement of program goals and determine the program's effectiveness in meeting the following three goals: providing information to improve the healing to wellness process; overseeing participant progress; and preparing evaluation information for interested community groups and funding sources. A ninth key component is continuing interdisciplinary education to promote effective wellness court planning, implementation, and operation. The tenth key component is the development of ongoing communication, coordination, and cooperation among team members, the community, and relevant organizations. 5 sources for additional information, a glossary, and a 48-item recommended reading list

Date Published: May 1, 2003