April 2021
What's Happening at NDCRC?
Notice anything different about the NDCRC website? When you visit our site, you will be prompted to complete a survey about your visit. These questions are designed to help us serve you better - tell us what you found, what you didn’t, and how we can improve the experience! If you want to finish your business before responding, you can get back to the survey through our Announcements.

We are also excited to launch a new web page! The NDCRC has compiled a repository of academic articles relating to all aspects of treatment courts and therapeutic jurisprudence. You can filter the Publication Search by court type or search for keywords. We’ll continue adding to this collection, so check back with us for more peer-reviewed updates.

Episode 5 of the original NDCRC podcast Justice to Healing is available now! Hosts Kristen DeVall, Ph.D. and Christina Lanier, Ph.D. welcome Jacquelyn Lee, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Social Work at the University of North Carolina Wilmington (UNCW), as she walks us through self-care and the foundations of mindfulness. Listen on our multimedia page and on all streaming platforms!
Beyond the Field
Each month the NDCRC will feature a topic relevant to the work of treatment courts. This information is designed to give you “food for thought” regarding your treatment court program's structure and operations and provide supporting multimedia resources.
The Neurobiology of Substance Use Disorders

by Sally MacKain, Ph.D., LP

This month, NDCRC Director of Clinical Treatment and UNCW professor of psychology Dr. Sally MacKain discusses how an understanding of the neurobiology of substance use disorders can inform treatment court practices. Treatment court clients struggle with significant cognitive, emotional, behavioral, and social problems. Understanding some basics of the neurobiology behind these difficulties may help court team members tailor their interactions and services more effectively. 

Dr. MacKain breaks down the article “Neurobiologic Advances from the Brain Disease Model of Addiction” by Nora Volkow, George Koob & Thomas McLellan (2016) which reviews scientific evidence supporting the view that substance use disorders are rooted in changes in how our brains are structured and function. The authors contend that a brain disease model of substance use has facilitated a movement away from shaming, stigma and incarceration. Volkow and her colleagues have made an important contribution in helping those of us who are not brain scientists understand more about the neurobiological changes associated with substance use disorders, how a disease model of addiction fits the evidence, and why recovery can be so challenging.

Read Dr. MacKain’s full feature - click on the "Full Feature" button!
Funding Opportunities Deadline: March 31, 2021, 11:59 p.m. ET
JustGrants Application Deadline: April 14, 2021, 11:59 p.m. ET

Application Due Date: April 27, 2021 Deadline: April 7, 2021, 11:59 p.m. ET
JustGrants Application Deadline: April 21, 2021, 11:59 p.m. ET
TTA Collaborative Updates
National Association of Drug Court Professionals
RISE21 Registration and Housing Now Open

Registration for the world’s preeminent conference on addiction, mental health and justice reform is now open. Secure your spot and discounted hotel rates today at The conference takes place August 15-18, 2021 in National Harbor, Maryland – just outside Washington, D.C. Hurry! Hotel space, as always, runs out soon!
NADCP Accepting Submissions for Journal for Advancing Justice

NADCP is now accepting submissions for the next volume of its peer-reviewed Journal for Advancing Justice. This edition, “Justice Reform: Achieving Evidence-Based Practices in Community Corrections to Promote Recovery” is open to original research reports and research-based review articles or meta-analyses to address priority topics in the area of community corrections. Submissions are due July 16.
Center for Court Innovation
The rights found in the Sixth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, including the right to counsel, are guaranteed to anyone accused of a crime. Yet they remain inaccessible to many indigent individuals across the country. That is because they are represented by lawyers burdened by excessive caseloads or lacking in qualifications, or by no lawyer at all. Systematic failures to ensure the right to counsel jeopardize the ability of courts to dispense justice, and contribute to over-incarceration and racial inequity.

The Center for Court Innovation and the National Legal Aid and Defender Association have provided strategic planning support to 10 jurisdictions across the U.S. to increase their capacities to uphold Sixth Amendment protections. Grounded in the Center’s unique research-practice approach, this report describes how former public defenders are paired with experienced researchers to work as a team to support the jurisdictions' strategic planning goals. Detailing the successes, challenges, and lessons learned, “BJA’s Sixth Amendment Initiative: Strengthening the Constitutional Protections of the Accused” offers insights for future efforts to strengthen the rights of all of those accused of a crime.
Tribal Law & Policy Institute
June 21-25, 2021

The Tribal Healing to Wellness Court Virtual Enhancement Training is a tribal-specific national training for tribal problem-solving courts. The Virtual Enhancement Training features Wellness Court best practices and innovative strategies. TLPI is pleased to offer four separate tracks in this year's curriculum: Adult Wellness Courts, Juvenile Wellness Courts; Family Wellness Courts; and Veteran’s Courts. Sessions addressing Law Enforcement's Role, and Case Management will also be included. 

The Training will be oriented around the Tribal Ten Key Components and the National Association of Drug Court Professionals (NADCP) National Drug Court Standards. The Enhancement Training focuses upon tribal issues, including jurisdictional and legal issues unique to Indian country; the incorporation of custom and tradition into the phases, case management, treatment curricula, and tangential services; and the peer-to-peer sharing of successful Healing to Wellness Courts models in operations. Training topics will cover the adult criminal, juvenile delinquency, family dependency, DWI/DUI, and veterans models. 

The Enhancement Training is free to all participants. A digital copy of all training materials, including publications, handouts and session PowerPoint presentations, will be available on the virtual training space and available to all attendees at after the event. You can view 2012-2020 presentation materials at our Prior Materials page
Featured State

Oregon has 67 specialty courts including Adult Drug, Mental Health, Family, Veterans, Juvenile Drug, and Driving Under the Influence. Over six months of the pandemic, a subcommittee for specialty court judges has been developing guidelines for mental health courts, creating tools to help courts build and maintain effective and sustainable programs, and establishing yearly training opportunities. 

Judge Kelly Ravassipour describes how participants have adapted during COVID-19 and thrived under courts that are held virtually. Appearing by video has removed some of the anxiety of the courtroom, eased stress over transportation and childcare during appearances, and connected specialty court staff to participants’ lives outside of court. “We have witnessed participants find confidence in themselves in sharing these perspectives with the treatment team. Consequently, these relationships have strengthened.” Judge Ravassipour finds it “ witness our participants forge support independently of the program,” which may not have been the case in standard court proceedings.

Read more about Oregon’s pandemic response and successful outcomes here.
In Other News
SAMHSA announces $2.5 billion from the Biden administration for states and territories towards comprehensive community prevention, treatment, recovery and health services.
The National Institute on Drug Abuse has identified an emerging trend relating poppy seed consumption and opioid exposure. The study by Eva Greenthal, Peter Lurie and Suzanne Doyon concludes that there are now at least 19 U.S. deaths associated with poppy seeds in the literature: "[They] recommend that practitioners working in opioid treatment and recovery be alert to use of poppy to treat pain and symptoms of withdrawal.” Access the full article here.
The National Institute of Justice and the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention are working to improve data on juvenile residential placement facilities and the youth they hold. Their latest report details the history and structure of their two largest data collection efforts to identify housing needs of juveniles in residential facilities.