"Crime causes harm and justice should focus on repairing that harm...The responsibility of the government is to maintain order and of the community to build peace." From The Principles of Restorative Justice
The Healing Place
This summer I heard a prisoner's statement commenting on his trauma-informed treatment. He said that he, "wanted to discover who he was intended to be." I journaled it: June 8, 2019. I wrote it down because I felt that it touched a fundamental chord in both my experience and my being that healing involves more than physical or psychological medical intervention. My experience is that healing involves an intervention that relates primarily to what we often refer to as the spirit: That this is the source of the healing place.
Drug Court as a Therapeutic Court
As a Superior Court Judge, from the beginning of my tenure, I was recruited to volunteer, as a "Drug Court Judge." Our senior judges more or less "drafted" us for these extra duties. However, I was allowed some choice. I decided to volunteer for Juvenile Offender Drug Court.
Drug Court operates in a manner different from regular court. Drug Court operates as a "team." This means, primarily, that the prosecution, and the defense work together rather than as adversaries. The team consists of: the judge, the prosecutor, the defense attorney, probation counselors, treatment professionals, police, school liaison officers and others, to provide services to help the youngsters become clean and sober. In our court we "staff" all of the participants. Staffing is essentially a weekly status report to evaluate how the individual is progressing in the program. If they break the rules there is a sanction at the following court session. Incentives are given freely for rule compliance and progress. It is what we call a "Therapeutic Court."
The success stories are dramatic. Let me tell just one such story.
One morning a youngster came in to regular court with seven burglaries. Let's call him Tom. He was a particularly offensive kid. Facts revealed that he was a local kingpin of sorts and was pretty much a one-man crime spree.