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2023 WSADCP Treatment Court Conference

Workshop Summaries and Presenter Bios

(Listed by Session Number on Schedule)


Welcome and Opening Remarks

Master of Ceremonies: Steve Freng and Presenters: Dawn Marie Rubio, Teesha Kirschbaum, & Judge Andrew Toynbee

Steve Freng, Psy.D., MSW, has acquired over 30 years’ experience as a substance use disorder (SUD) professional, having worked in clinical, supervisory, administrative, and managerial capacities in the development and delivery of SUD prevention and treatment services in the State of Washington. During his tenure with the Seattle-King County Division of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services he occupied several positions including that of Division Manager/County Alcohol and Drug Coordinator. His primary focus throughout this period involved the development of public policy, programs and services focused on the most debilitated and often homeless persons within the community. Dr. Freng initiated and oversaw the construction of service and housing facilities, pioneered new program strategies, and published numerous articles detailing these efforts and accomplishments as well as research articles reporting on their efficacy. Dr. Freng thereafter served as the Prevention/Treatment Manager for the Northwest High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (NW HIDTA), a region of fifteen counties in Washington State designated by the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy for special law enforcement and SUD program initiatives. The programs under his direction focused on several areas, including the development, operation, and evaluation of Drug Courts throughout the NW HIDTA region, as well as SUD prevention projects within the region, support for which was contingent on sustained, active collaborations with law enforcement agencies. As President of Community Network Services, Inc., Dr. Freng is also active as an independent clinician, consultant, trainer, and evaluator, having developed inter-disciplinary treatment programs, directed a state-wide needs assessment project, managed prevention projects and provided technical assistance and facilitation on a wide range of topics and disciplines. Dr. Freng serves on a variety of local and regional boards and panels, is active in state and federal legislative efforts, and remains involved in research and service demonstration projects.

Dawn Marie Rubio, J.D., joined the Washington Administrative Office of the Courts as State Court Administrator on January 1, 2019. As the State Court Administrator, Ms. Rubio leads the overall operations and provides strategic direction of the Washington Administrative Office of the Courts. As a member of the Conference of State Court Administrators [COSCA], Ms. Rubio is a COSCA co-chair of the Joint Conference of Chief Justices and Conference of State Court Administrators Behavioral Health Committee. Prior to Washington, Ms. Rubio worked with the Utah AOC as Administrator for the statewide Juvenile Court and as Utah’s Commissioner — Interstate Commission for Juveniles. Dawn Marie also worked as Assistant Director of the Administrative Office of the Illinois Courts. For 11 years, Ms. Rubio worked as a Principal  Consultant with the National Center for State Courts during which she directed national, state, and local projects improving court organization and operations with emphasis on children, families, and problem-solving courts. Ms. Rubio began her career with the Seventeenth Judicial Circuit Court of Florida holding various administrative and legal positions in the family and juvenile court.  Ms. Rubio earned a Bachelor of Science and Juris Doctor from the University of Florida.  She is a member of the Florida Bar Association, a fellow of the Institute for Court Management, and the recipient of the 2006 NCSC Staff Excellence Award.

Teesha Kirschbaum is the Deputy Director of Treatment and Recovery Programs at the Health Care Authority’s Division of Behavioral Health and Recovery (DBHR). In her nearly 20 years of non-profit and state government experience, she has focused on intensive collaboration, strategic thinking, and communicating complex topics. Currently, she ensures that DBHR weaves together the full spectrum of behavioral healthcare from mental health, co-occurring, substance use, problem gambling, and recovery supports to address needs across the lifespan.

Andrew Toynbee has been a Drug Court judge in Lewis County since October of 2016, presiding over Adult Drug Court, juvenile Recovery Court; and juvenile Individual Treatment Court. Prior to that, he served as Chief Criminal Deputy for Thurston County from 2006 to 2016, where he had the opportunity to observe, supervise and fill in as a Team member in Adult DUI and Drug Court; Mental Health Court; Veterans Court; and Juvenile Drug Court. He also served as a Deputy Prosecutor and Chief Criminal Deputy in Lewis County from 1994 to 2006 and assisted in establishing Lewis County’s Drug Court.


Keynote Address – Cultivating Belonging to Build Community

When we belong together, we build community. Belonging goes far beyond a good feeling or a warm memory. When we belong, we treat ourselves and others with respect, care, and dignity, we are curious and earnestly listen to those who enter our courthouses and courtrooms. This session will focus on how cultivating a culture of belonging, not only builds community, it advances our efforts to deliver fair, just and culturally competent outcomes for individuals, family members and communities interacting within our treatment courts.

Keynote Speaker: Patricia Lally

Patricia Lally is an attorney and a racial equity practitioner, actively providing trainings, presentations and workshops, specifically focused on cultivating a culture and practice of Belonging, where people from all walks of life are celebrated, welcomed, heard, valued, and respected. Patricia works with judges, court personnel and the legal profession to eliminate racial disparities, advance court reform, and to ensure justice in every courthouse, in every courtroom.


Session 1: Harm Reduction Strategies: What Works and What Doesn’t

This thought-provoking session will examine the origins and contemporary applications of harm reduction and explore harm reduction strategies for the treatment court population. National experts, practitioners, and program graduates will offer perspectives on the implications of specific harm reduction practices on treatment, supervision, and recovery.

Learning Objectives:

  • Develop a fuller understanding of the historical context of harm reduction and its present-day applications.
  • Understand which harm reduction practices align with best practice standards for treatment courts.
  • Understand which harm reduction practices align with best practice standards for treatment courts.

Presenter: Terrance Walton

Terrence D. Walton, chief operating officer (COO) for AllRise, is among the nation’s leading experts in providing training and technical assistance to treatment courts and other providers of substance use disorder treatment. Prior to being named COO in 2015, he was AllRises’ chief of standards. Before coming to AllRise, Mr. Walton was director of treatment for the Pretrial Services Agency for the District of Columbia. He also previously excelled as the director of what was then the District of Columbia’s leading adolescent outpatient substance use treatment center. Mr. Walton is an internationally certified alcohol and other drug abuse counselor with over 25 years of experience helping individuals and organizations champion positive change. He holds a B.A. degree in psychology and a master’s degree in social work with specializations in program administration and substance abuse. He is a member of the Motivational Interviewing Network of Trainers (MINT). A gifted and entertaining speaker, Mr. Walton travels extensively, informing and inspiring audiences across the globe.


Session 2: Know Your Role: What You Do and What You Share

This session outlines the basic concepts of team development. It offers interactive exercises to demonstrate the different learning styles of team members. This presentation introduces the roles for each team member and explains why to hold a pre-case conference and what can be discussed during that meeting.

Learning Objectives:

  • Identify different learning styles of teammates. 
  • Learn the roles for each team member. 
  • Learn the purpose in the pre-case conference (staffing) and a status hearing.
  • Learn what information should be shared in the pre-case conference. 

Presenter: Judge Shannon Holmes

Judge Shannon Holmes was initially reluctant to accept the assignment to preside over a specialty court in the 36th District Court in Detroit. Three weeks after agreeing to the assignment, however, she attended her first NADCP national conference, where she realized that her life experiences had thoroughly prepared her to serve in the court. Judge Homes grew up with a brother who battled drug addiction for many years. During her brother’s active addiction, she demanded that the family respect him and see beyond his addiction. Today, her brother celebrates almost 32 years of recovery. In Judge Homes’s courtroom, she is firm, fair, and always attentive to the needs of the participants and the team. She understands that addiction is an illness and recovery is a journey, and that support and patience can lead to a life- changing experience for the court’s participants. She is committed to seeking knowledge about recovery and requires the team to participate in educational opportunities. Judge Homes’s compassion in the area of restorative justice led to her recent appointment as the executive presiding judge for all of the problem-solving courts at the 36th District Court. Recently, she led the team in the successful launch of a mental health court and a human trafficking docket in the midst of the pandemic. The problem-solving courts never ceased operations, even during the court’s closure, due to Judge Homes’s leadership and ability to convince the administration, the team, and even the participants that “people are counting on us irrespective of a pandemic.”


Session 3: Developing Treatment Plans for Persons with Co-Occurring Disorders

Persons with co-occurring mental illnesses and substance use disorders are in all types of adult drug courts. Substance misuse is the most common and clinically significant comorbid disorder among adults with severe mental illness. It is estimated that about 70-74 percent of persons in the criminal justice system affected by co-occurring disorders. Effective treatment planning is critical to positive outcomes both in treatment and in treatment court case-planning.

Learning Objectives:

  • Recognize the necessity of matching treatment approaches to the individual.
  • Recognize the necessity of providing a comprehensive continuum of treatment and ancillary services.
  • Develop an understanding of the complex interactions between flexible treatment and case planning while maintaining integrity to the ADC Best Practice Standards.

Presenter: John Collins

John Collins was raised in Ireland, where he received a B.A. degree in psychology. He received his master’s degree in community counseling from Argosy University, Atlanta. He is a licensed professional counselor with the State of Georgia and holds a master addictions counselor certification. He is also certified in Relapse Prevention Counseling, Moral Reconation Therapy, and Cognitive Behavioral Interventions for Substance Abuse. Mr. Collins is an integral part of the Fulton County accountability court in Atlanta, where, as the behavioral health services coordinator, he supervises the treatment of over 100 participants. In addition to providing evidence-based substance use treatment, he has facilitated staff trainings on topics that include synthetic drugs and the Stages of Change model of recovery. Mr. Collins was a principal in engineering the court’s multilayered incentive program, as well as its

gender-specific treatment groups. He has also engaged in community outreach initiatives and family workshops. As an adjunct faculty member at Argosy University, he has taught postgraduate classes in academic writing and critical thinking and helped deliver comprehensive examination preparatory workshops. He is also a faculty member with NADCP, providing training and guidance to existing and new accountability court programs.


Session 4 – Session 8: Let’s Have a Conversation

In recent years, our therapeutic court programs have been impacted by unique circumstances, including the Blake decision and Covid-19. WSADCP will host a series of “conversations” to discuss the challenges and opportunities these unique circumstances present and how treatment court team members and alumni are working to find solutions. Treatment court team members will have breakout sessions by role type:

  • Judge Conversation moderated by Judge Andrew Toynbee (Lewis County Judge, WSADCP/WADC Vice President)
  • Treatment Court Coordinator Conversation moderated by Tessa Clements (AOC Office of Innovation, Behavioral Health Program Lead/State Treatment Court Coordinator)
  • Prosecuting Attorney Conversation moderated by Jon Tunheim (Thurston County Prosecuting Attorney, WSADCP/WADC Past President)
  • Defense Attorney Conversation moderated by Retired Judge Ken Williams (Ret. Judge, WSADCP/WADC Board Member)
  • The Strength of Lived Experience in Treatment Courts moderated by Joe Barsana (Certified Peer Counselor and Recovery Coach, King County Drug Diversion Court Alumni)

Session 9: Trauma-Informed Approaches for all Treatment Court Team Members

Bloom (2010), found that many public, judicial and behavioral healthcare agencies lacked the appropriate therapeutic beliefs, cultures and environments that encouraged a productive and healthy workplace for their employees. He also found that many agencies designed to assist individuals that have undergone earlier traumas engaged in practices that were inadvertently re-traumatizing and thus compounding their client’s original trauma. “Trauma-Informed Approaches for All Treatment Court Members” is designed to outline the primary guidelines for an effective, evidence-based Trauma-Informed Care (TIC) Court System by discussing the findings compiled by the University of Buffalo, Buffalo Center for Social Research, and the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), a Treatment Improvement Protocol, (Trauma-Informed Care in Behavior Health Services, TIP 57).

Learning Objectives:

  • Define what constitutes trauma.
  • Defining the difference between being an agency that is “Trauma Focused” vs. “Trauma-Informed.”
  • Reviewing SAMHSA’s six principles of Trauma-Informed Care.
  • Defining the Key Components of Trauma-Informed Care (Safety; Trustworthiness/transparency; Peer support; Collaboration/mutuality; Empowerment/choice; Historical/gender issues).

Presenter: John Collins

See Session 3 notes for presenter bio. 


Session 10: Race, Risk, and Reimagining the Future of RNR

Risk tools are one of the most ubiquitous yet controversial aspects of criminal justice reform. The research is mixed as to whether these tools can be used to reduce disparities in the criminal legal system, or whether they fundamentally perpetuate inequities in outcomes because the tools themselves contain racial bias. Some practitioners seek to use the tools to reduce racial disparities by minimizing personal bias in decision-making. Other practitioners advocate against the use of risk tools because they contain racial bias in the algorithms used to quantify risk. These practitioners argue that risk tools may be propagating racially biased outcomes under the guise of neutral decision-making and, indeed, there is early research indicating evidence of racial bias in these risk tools.

The treatment court field often finds itself torn at the center of this debate. Treatment court practitioners who are seeking to root out disparities in their justice system practices find the implications of racial disparities in risk tools to be alarming. However, treatment court models also heavily rely on identification of risk to determine if a person is appropriate for intensive court interventions such as entry into drug courts. There is little debate that matching supervision and treatment intensity to criminogenic risk and treatment needs are important in ensuring treatment success. But if algorithms used in risk tools are racially biased and fundamentally flawed, how can treatment court professionals balance the need to offer appropriately tailored interventions with the need to ensure fair and equitable practices?

This presentation will go into detail about the concerns with racial bias in risk tools and outline the current research around racial bias in risk assessments. An overview of the research will provide a background on how risk assessments were developed, the data typically used, and how best practices at the time may have contributed to racial bias in these tools. This presentation will focus heavily on explaining the science behind risk assessments in an approachable way and on discussing the implications of the science on practice. Additionally, Center staff will propose several approaches to reducing bias by utilizing new advancements in psychometrics and by reimagining the concept of risk, needs, and responsivity. Risk assessments can still be integral to providing appropriate services and improving treatment outcomes. However, the science behind these assessment tools must advance and evolve to meet the challenges of providing equitable treatment within the criminal legal system.

Learning Objectives:

  • Discuss in detail the debate on the use of risk tools and explain why the science may be mixed on their use to both reduce and exacerbate racial disparities.
  • Provide an overview of the science behind the development and application of risk assessment tools, with a focus on recognizing how these tools have come to reproduce systemic bias.
  • Propose new approaches to understanding the concept of risk, needs, and responsivity to reduce racial disparities and to provide better treatment outcomes for the population that we serve.

Presenters: Fedrick Butcher and Adelle Fontanet-Torres

Fredrick Butcher is a Senior Jail Reform Associate for the Center for Court Innovation (CCI). Prior to his current role with CCI, Dr. Butcher was a Research Assistant Professor at the Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel School of Applied Social Sciences School at Case Western Reserve University. Dr. Butcher has significant experience leading local, state, and federal evaluations of the impact of evidence-based programs in the justice system. Through this work, he has examined the impact and validity of risk assessments used in the criminal legal system. His work on psychometric assessment has been published extensively in peer reviewed journals across social science disciplines.

Adelle Fontanet-Torres is the director of the Center’s Tribal Justice Exchange. She provides on-site and long-distance training and technical assistance to tribes seeking to enhance their justice systems around the country. Ms. Fontanet works with tribal justice systems to design and implement problem-solving strategies such as the use of alternatives to incarceration, restorative justice practices, diversion and deflection programs, and risk-need tools. She is also co-leading a project to develop a culturally-relevant risk-need-responsivity tool for Native populations. In addition to her work with the Tribal Justice Exchange, Ms. Fontanet co-chairs the Center’s racial equity technical assistance (RETA) committee. This committee works to assist the Center’s technical assistance teams in addressing disparities reductions as part of its technical assistance work. Prior to working in technical assistance, she participated in a fellowship with the Center where she worked with Bronx Community Solutions to provide alternatives to incarceration to low-level misdemeanor adult and youth defendants in Bronx Criminal Court. Additionally, she was one of the lead planners of the Red Hook Peacemaking Program where she served as a peacemaker for disputes referred from the court system and other partner agencies. Ms. Fontanet has a J.D from Columbia Law School, where she participated in the school’s peacemaking clinic, and has a dual bachelor’s degree in English and Anthropology from the University of Florida.


Session 11: Giving Context for Equity in the Courts: Where Lived Experience, Trauma-Informed Care, and Belonging Intersect

Family Therapeutic Courts (FTCs) are gaining notice across the country due to the proven success of increased contact, collaborative teams, and tailored approaches to an individual or families’ needs. Unfortunately, these courts also tend to have greater participation from White/Caucasian families than we would expect to see in a child welfare system known to have broad racial disproportionality. The probable reasons that People of Color are not as likely to participate in a higher contact court are wide-ranging: historical trauma, lived trauma, distrust, systemic bias, geographic distribution of courts, and more. We know, theoretically, that change is needed in all of these areas, but may not fully know how to make changes in the daily operations of our courts that will be impactful. In this presentation, we will share several specific ways that FTCs in Washington State have changed the system to make courts more accessible to people of color, tribal participants, and trauma-impacted court participants. Jill Murphy uses data and policy advocacy to ensure team members hold equity at the forefront of their work in King County. Manisha Jackson uses her knowledge of the language of recovery to bring context to both peers and professionals. Gabrielle Cranor, leads with empathy and a deep knowledge of her rural community to advocate for client needs and increase referrals to her Mason County FTC. Meghan Fitzgerald creates community for FTCs across the state and assists courts in sharing their innovative work in equity, access, policy, and practice. These speakers bring context to our FTC participants though lived expertise in Addiction, Recovery, Family Reunification after Child Removal, FTCs, Childhood Trauma, Othering, Belonging, Peer Support, Social Work, Counseling, Coordinating, and a prevailing dedication to system change in order to bring healing to court-involved families.

Learning Objectives:

  • Understand the value of lived expertise in a therapeutic court setting to gain context on a participant’s experience (specifically in language and local knowledge)
  • Gain insight on how to make small changes using data and expertise
  • Multiple examples of changes made due to on-the ground work by peers and consistent reflection on the outcome data.
  • Suggestions for how we can continue to elevate voices of graduates and families from underrepresented communities to promote equitable justice outcomes.

Presenters: Meghan Fitzgerald, Ivy Thompson, Gabrielle Cranor, and Jill Murphy

Meghan Fitzgerald started her work with the Administrative Office of the Courts in 2021 with a passion for education, system reform, equity, and family healing. She works to connect Family Therapeutic Courts across Washington state using regular community of practice meetings, trainings on Best Practices and current research and events, and facilitation of yearly All Sites gatherings with the help of a team focused on therapeutic court models in the dependency courts. Meghan is also a Licensed Mental Health Counselor Associate with an expertise in life transitions, adults healing from abusive childhoods, trauma, and Acceptance and Commitment Therapy. Meghan’s career shift to court work and mental health followed a PhD in Integrative Biology from the University of Wisconsin Madison, where Meghan studied the social (and asocial) behavior of groups of tropical spiders. After finishing graduate school, she spent several years teaching Human Anatomy & Physiology, and various other Biological Science Courses to college students in Yakima, WA. It may seem as though these areas of expertise are disparate and unrelated. However: the Anatomy & Physiology of the Brain are the basis of behavior. Research and education in animal behavior always include human animals. Understanding the group dynamics of spiders requires understanding the dance that individuals in groups of any species do to meet their needs. An understanding of research, the importance of data and evidential guidance, and a love of teaching fills in some of the remaining gaps. Lived expertise in childhood trauma, the impacts of mental and behavioral health conditions on relationships and families, and watching inequity change the trajectory of lives similar to hers fills in the rest. Meghan is passionate about making the dependency system a place where families can have the support, equity, and safety they need to thrive, and is looking forward to learning more together at this conference.

Ivy Thompson is a Family Recovery Support Specialist employed by King County Family Treatment Court (KCFTC) and trained Recovery Coach.  As a Family Recovery Support Specialist she helps parents process and plan solutions for moving their child welfare case forward.  She attends client team meetings, participates in staffings, runs the peer support groups, and helps clients develop Wellness Recovery Action Plans.  Ivy received her Peer Certification from the State of Washington in 2022.  She graduated from KCFTC in September 2020 and started working in the Parents for Parents Program as a Parent Ally, where she mentored parents throughout the dependency process before joining the KCFTC team.  

Gabrielle (Gabbi) Cranor works with Mason County Therapeutic courts and the Family Recovery Court Program (FRC). I am the mother of 5 children. All different and amazing in their own unique ways. 2 of my 5 kiddos are at home, and the other 3 are 20+ years old and out of the house on their own. I consider myself to be a super lucky person living a life that has been given to me as a learning experience and a true blessing. About 5 years ago I felt like my life was falling apart, and really, it was. It took me a couple of years to figure out that instead of fighting that change, I needed to embrace it. Looking at my “life” then, it was easy to see that it was a mess, not only for me, but for all of those in my life. My siblings, my kids, everyone. I luckily (reluctantly) went to treatment and while I was there started FRC. I was in treatment for 6 months and graduated. I graduated IOP and FRC. I learned so much accountability, responsibility, and how life has such great opportunities. I learned that nothing was out of my reach. Instead of my life’s past incidences holding me back, I now held on to them as learning experiences, that I can reflect on to show myself and others that have been through similar things how far someone can come when they truly try. The sky is the limit. I now have custody of both of my kids that had been removed from my care at my lowest point. I worked for two different attorneys’ offices before I was contacted by FRC of Mason Co. to become a caseworker. I feel so happy and grateful to be able to be in a position to lead by example. I love the example I am able to set now, but I would never take away my past. With that I also can show an example of how wonderful sobriety and addressing and getting help for the co -occurring issues that so many people face is well worth the time and effort invested. Now I enjoy living life. I love camping with my kids and swimming in the summer. We inner tube and go on hikes in the winter. I love helping with homework, and being an active part of their schooling. I am truly grateful for the people I continue to meet.

Jill Murphy is the Program Supervisor of Washington’s King County Family Treatment Court, a therapeutic court designed to assist parents who have a substance use disorder and have lost custody of their children. She is also the Program Supervisor for the Parents for Parents Program in King County. This program pairs parents new to the dependency system with peer mentors to provide the new parents with additional support and education as they encounter the child welfare process. Prior to moving to Seattle, Mrs. Murphy worked for the Cook County Juvenile Court Clinic (CCJCC), where she facilitated requests for clinical information, evaluated parents’ ability to surrender their parental rights, and provided training and consulting on the CCJCC model. She has worked internationally helping legal professionals interview traumatized prisoners and conducted mental health evaluations for incarcerated men and women in Malawi. She holds a Master of Arts degree in Clinical Social Work from the School of Social Service Administration at the University of Chicago and is licensed in the State of Washington.


Session 12: BJA Feedback Session: Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

We want to hear from you! All Rise (formerly the National Association of Drug Court Professionals) and NPC Research are hosting Feedback Sessions with support from the Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA). In this session, participants will be asked to share practices that encourage equitable access in treatment courts, perceptions of stigma and discrimination, and experiences serving transgender participants. Results will be shared in a report that will identify promising practices, common challenges, potential solutions, and resources needed, as well as shape future funding and training opportunities. Participants can be practitioners from any Adult Treatment Court type (Adult, DUI/DWI, Mental Health/Co-occurring, and Veterans Treatment Courts, and Tribal Healing to Wellness Courts) and from all disciplines (e.g., judges, coordinators, prosecutors, defense counsel, community supervision, law enforcement, and treatment providers, among other roles). We ask all participants to keep the discussions confidential. Any information you provide will not be presented in a way that could be identified with you. This session will be facilitated by NPC Research. This project was supported by Grant No. 2019-MU-BX-K005 awarded by the Bureau of Justice Assistance. Attendees will receive gift bags provided by NPC research. Pre-registration required.

Presenters: Juliette R. Mackin and Laura Hunter

Juliette Mackin is Co-President, Director of Quality and Training, and Senior Research Associate at NPC Research. Dr. Mackin has been involved with over 80 studies of treatment courts, including adult, DUI, juvenile, family, mental health, veterans, and tribal court programs. She has directed multi-year, multi-site statewide treatment court studies as well as individual program evaluations, conducting technical assistance, training, process evaluations, longitudinal outcome studies, and cost-benefit research, using both qualitative and quantitative research methods. She was part of the evaluation team that recently conducted the national evaluation of the juvenile drug treatment court guidelines, working with 10 sites across the United States, and is part of the evaluation team working with juvenile treatment courts in Colombia. She helped develop the peer review model being used in multiple states, as well as supported several states in developing certification procedures.

Laura Hunter is a Research Associate at NPC Research with a primary focus on treatment court evaluation and translating research into practice. Prior to joining NPC, Dr. Hunter was the Program Evaluator and Manager in the Planning, Research, and Evaluation Division at Arizona Superior Court in Pima County. Dr. Hunter has extensive research and evaluation experience, including the design and analysis of surveys, key partner interviews, courtroom observations, and court records. She has multiple peer-reviewed publications. She also has years of professional experience in promoting diversity, equity, and inclusion.


Session 13: Restoring Hope and Purpose in Justice-Involved Veteran Population

Participants in a veterans treatment court or veterans treatment docket will often have multiple challenges that are both seen and unseen. As they propel towards program completion, each multidisciplinary team member’s relationship and approach to guiding and empowering them through these challenges will vary from team member to team member. However, what should remain the same is each team member’s intent to foster or restore a sense of hope, meaning-making, and purpose in the justice-involved veteran participant that extends far beyond the program’s length. This session will emphasize working with participants in a holistic manner that emboldens them in their everyday accomplishments while at the same time encouraging them to lead a purposeful life. This session will explore skills that team members can use to assist them when working with participants that may result in the individual practicing or developing behaviors that positively influence their quality-of-life choices in the present and future.

Learning Objectives:

  • Define the complexity of the justice-involved population concerning potential VTC team member assumptions and biases that may impact their approach in the judicial setting.
  • Identify literature and research concerning the role of hope, meaning-making, and purpose in the health and well-being of specific populations.
  • Describe the impact of social connectedness and ways of developing and enhancing it.

Presenter: Randee McLain Malone

Randee McLain Malone is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW); US Navy veteran and spouse of Active Duty who has dedicated her career to helping individuals and families overcome a variety of challenges. She has extensive experience working with veterans, active military members, and their families, as well as with people dealing with mental health, substance use, housing insecurities and justice involvement. She has since worked in a variety of settings, including community mental health clinics, large non-profits and as a national trainer. Ms. McLain Malone earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Criminal Justice from San Diego State in 2012 and her Master of Social Work degree from the University of Southern California in 2014. She is currently in her Doctoral Program at Simmons University. Ms. McLain Malone remains active in her veteran’s community sitting on the California Association of Collaborative Courts; Mayor T Gloria’s Military Advisory Council; Operation Dress Code Co-Founder; San Diego Military Women’s Luncheon Chair and Director of Community Engagement for the San Diego Enforcers. She is a consultant for NADCP and Justice for Vets where she trains mentors and staff in treatment courts across the country. In her spare time, she writes a monthly column on mental health in San Diego Veterans Magazine. Ms. McLain Malone was named San Diego County’s Veteran of the Year in 2014 and in 2021 was named one of San Diego Business Journal’s Health Care Heroes for her work during the COVID 19 response.


Session 14: Trauma Awareness and Resilience Strategies for Work and Life

Our work comes with tremendous stress, trauma and pressure. Each day we serve people who are struggling and are witness to and exposed to tremendous amounts of trauma, sadness and dysfunction. At the same time, we are faced with structural and systemic challenges around safety and security, funding, technological change, and a list that goes on and on. Do you ever ask yourself whether you are going to survive this work? Do you wonder if you can continue to rise to the challenge, get everything done, stay engaged? We will delve into the nature of the problem so we can understand what prolonged stress, exposure and challenge does to us and our teams. But more importantly, we will explore research- based practices and solutions that each one of us can implement to meet the challenges for ongoing health, satisfaction and performance. The answer is that we can survive and even thrive by focusing on and implement mindful resilience strategies.

Learning Objectives:

  • Understand the impact that the stress, trauma, and constant pressure in our work has on us and the people we work with.
  • Identify and begin planning to implement clear strategies and workable solutions for moving toward better health, performance, and resilience as people and organizations.
  • Learn ideas and strategies we can implement to lead our teams to be more mindfully effective, better prepared, and positioned to respond to the changes and challenges that will surely keep coming.

Presenter: John Collins

See Session 3 notes for presenter bio.


Session 15 and Session 20: Supporting Recovery from Fentanyl: Discovering What is Known and What is Rumor

When Therapeutic Court Professionals come together to discuss current topic impacting their courts, the increasing use of fentanyl comes up almost every time. From concerns about fentanyl exposure for children, to testing for synthetic opioids, to how we can motivate court participants who are using fentanyl (either intentionally or mixed with other illicit substances). This panel discussion will bring together experts in the impacts of Fentanyl across Washington State, who will share their expert opinions and evidence to guide our therapeutic courts in making informed decisions in cases involving fentanyl misuse.

Panelists: Meghan Fitzgerald, Jimmy Vallembois, Jason Bean-Mortinson, and Scott Phillips

See Session 11 notes for Meghan Fitzgerald’s bio.

James Vallembois is a dedicated advocate with a mission to improve the drug testing processes in the state of Washington making it easier to access and more trauma-informed. He fosters an empathetic approach towards individuals struggling with addiction. Through his understanding of trending drugs, he sheds light on the physical impacts, behaviors, and testing methodologies, helping individuals and families on their path to recovery. James Vallembois is the Substance Use Program Manager for the Department of Health in Washington State. He possesses a unique blend of knowledge from his many work experiences involving substance use, recovery, testing, as well as the impacts of substance use on families that enables him to approach drug testing from a multidisciplinary perspective. James stays up-to-date with the constantly evolving landscape of drug trends, including substances like fentanyl and xylazine. He educates professionals, caregivers, and individuals on the unique risks associated with these substances, enabling them to make informed decisions regarding treatment options and harm reduction strategies.

Jason has worked in Behavioral Health for almost 20 years, in residential treatment with Providence St. Peter, with the Dept. of Social and Health Services, and for the last 8 years with the Thurston-Mason Behavioral Health Administrative Services Organization (Thurston-Mason BH-ASO). TMBH-ASO contracts with the Washington State Health Care Authority (HCA), Molina Health, Amerigroup, United Health, and Coordinated Care (for foster care only) to provide care to individuals in the two-county region who are experiencing a crisis due to a behavioral health disorder. Jason’s work with the Law Enforcement Assisted Diversion Program provides alternatives to jail through collaborative integrated behavioral health services. Over the time Jason spent in this field, he has seen the Opioid epidemic shift and change, as synthetic Opioids like Fentanyl started appearing in our communities and has gone from trying to avoid fentanyl to now seeing people who are actively seeking fentanyl as a drug of choice. 

Dr. Scott Phillips has been board-certified in Internal Medicine and Toxicology for over thirty years. In addition to his position at the WAPC, he continues to work as a hospitalist at Providence Mount Carmel Hospital in Colville, Washington. Dr. Phillips’s work in medical toxicology extends beyond the WAPC, as he serves as a clinical faculty member at Rocky Mountain Poison & Drug Safety and as an Associate Clinical Professor of Medicine in the Division of Clinical Pharmacology and Toxicology at the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center. Over his career, Dr. Phillips has published several textbooks and numerous other publications in the field of medical toxicology. He continues to lecture in Washington, nationwide, and internationally on topics within medical toxicology, emergency medicine, and the importance of poison center systems.


Session 16: Best Practices Part 1

The publication of the Adult Drug Court Best Practice Standards Volume II in 2015 provided drug courts with specific guidance about how to operationalize the ten key components improve operations and outcomes better measure and evaluate program quality and identify areas needing further improvement and technical assistance. Looking back at a decade in circulation this session reports on how well the standards have fulfilled this promise including notable accomplishments critical lessons learned and remaining challenges.

Learning Objectives:

  • Discover the most important lessons learned after a decade of standards implementation to ensure that drug courts work.
  • Examine how drug courts have used the standards to close their most significant adherence gaps.
  • Explore significant enhancements coming in the second edition especially those involving responses to behavior equity and inclusion and treatment of substance use and other mental health disorders.

Presenter: Terrance Walton

See Session 1 notes for presenter bio.


Session 17: BJA Feedback Session: BJA Grant Solicitation

We want to hear from you! All Rise (formerly the National Association of Drug Court Professionals) and NPC Research are hosting Feedback Sessions with support from the Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA). In this session, participants will be asked to share barriers to applying for grants, resources needed to help with the application process, and how the solicitation process can be improved. Results will be shared in a report that will identify strengths to continue or expand, as well as challenges and concerns to focus on for potential improvements in the process. The results may also be used to shape future training opportunities. Participants can be practitioners from any Adult Treatment Court type (Adult, DUI/DWI, Mental Health/Co-occurring, and Veterans Treatment Courts, and Tribal Healing to Wellness Courts) and from all disciplines (e.g., judges, coordinators, prosecutors, defense counsel, community supervision, law enforcement, and treatment providers, among other roles). We ask all participants to keep the discussions confidential. Any information you provide will not be presented in a way that could be identified with you. This session will be facilitated by NPC Research. This project was supported by Grant No. 2019-MU-BX-K005 awarded by the Bureau of Justice Assistance. Attendees will receive gift bags provided by NPC Research. Pre-registration required.

Presenters: Juliette R. Mackin and Laura Hunter

See Session 12 notes for presenter bios.


Session 18: Prosecutor and Defense Counsel: Working Effectively on the Treatment Court Team

The roles of prosecutor and defense counsel provide the opportunity for a unique collaboration to effectuate positive change within the criminal justice system. While prosecutors and defense counsel may disagree on individual participants and legal matters, they aim to ensure that the treatment court produces the best possible outcomes. Effective collaboration between the prosecutor and defense counsel is vital for ensuring the treatment court program operates effectively, avoids pitfalls, identifies areas needing improvement, and provides equal participation opportunities.

Learning objectives:

  • Describe common barriers and challenges each discipline faces when working with the treatment court population.
  • Identify common strategies each discipline can utilize to overcome these barriers and challenges.
  • Negotiate obstacles within the context of the prosecutor-defense counsel for the betterment of the team and participant outcomes.

Presenter: Marie Lane

Marie Lane, J.D., is a project director with the Justice For Vets (JFV) division of AllRise. Previously, she was a career public defender who served as an assistant public defender in Stark County, Ohio and then as the Director of the Ashtabula County Public Defender’s Office from 1998- 2021. For ten (10) year she served as the defense attorney representative on the Ohio Supreme Court’s Commission on Specialized Dockets, which oversees the development and delivery of specialized docket services to Ohio’s courts. She was also a member of the Supreme Court Advisory Committee and assisted in writing and implementing Ohio’s first statewide rule and uniform standards for specialized docket courts. In 2011, the Ashtabula County Felony Drug Court Program, of which she was a founding treatment team member, was one of the first seven courts to be fully certified by the Ohio Supreme Court pursuant to the new rule. Ms. Lane also served as the defense attorney on her county’s family drug court treatment team and on the advisory committee of the adult felony mental health court.


Session 19: Best Practices Part 2

The publication of the Adult Drug Court Best Practice Standards Volume I in 2013 provided drug courts with specific guidance about how to operationalize the ten key components improve operations and outcomes better measure and evaluate program quality and identify areas needing further improvement and technical assistance. Looking back at a decade in circulation this session reports on how well the standards have fulfilled this promise including notable accomplishments critical lessons learned and remaining challenges.

Learning Objectives:

  • Discover the most important lessons learned after a decade of standards implementation to ensure that drug courts work.
  • Examine how drug courts have used the standards to close their most significant adherence gaps.
  • Explore significant enhancements coming in the second edition especially those involving responses to behavior equity and inclusion and treatment of substance use and other mental health disorders.

Presenter: Aaron Arnold

Aaron Arnold is chief development officer at AllRise, where he works to develop new initiatives to support and strengthen drug courts across the country. Prior to joining NADCP, Aaron spent 15 years at the Center for Court Innovation, overseeing the Center’s national work in the areas of treatment courts, community justice, alternatives to incarceration, tribal justice, and more. Aaron has served as a prosecutor with the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office in Phoenix, Arizona, where he gained first-hand experience working in several problem-solving courts. Aaron is graduate of Cornell University and the University of Arizona College of Law.


Session 21: Law School 101 (Constitutional Law for Treatment Court Professionals)

The law is a tool for success and should not be viewed as an obstacle. Treatment court professionals must develop a comprehensive understanding of what the law will and will not allow. Learn firsthand how to face challenges relating to ethics, HIPPA, confidentiality, due process, 12-step programs and the law, and other constitutional requirements.

Learning Objectives:

  • Recognize constitutional and due process issues that affect treatment court programs.
  • Identify how federal confidentiality regulations are applied in the treatment court setting.
  • Recognize ethics laws that influence team member roles in the treatment court process.

Presenter: Judge Jeffery Manske

Judge Jeffrey C. Manske currently serves as the U.S. magistrate judge for the Western District of Texas, Waco division. He received his appointment in 2001 and was reappointed to a third eight-year term in 2017. In addition to his duties supporting the U.S. District Court, Judge Manske presides over the magistrate court at Fort Hood, Texas, where he has worked closely with U.S. Army leadership, active-duty soldiers, and veterans for 16 years. His responsibilities while presiding over magistrate court include pretrial felony matters and misdemeanor offenses committed by civilians on Fort Hood, as well as presiding over misdemeanor DWI offenses involving active-duty soldiers. In 2015, Judge Manske was instrumental in the creation of the Fort Hood VETS Court, the first federal veterans treatment court operating on a U.S. military base. The Fort Hood VETS Court operates bimonthly in a round-table setting, with each veteran

participant receiving one-on-one veteran mentor support. The Fort Hood VETS Court team shared its treatment court model at the 2017 NADCP conference.


Session 22: BJA Feedback Session: Treatment Court Enrollment

We want to hear from you! All Rise (formerly the National Association of Drug Court Professionals) and NPC Research are hosting Feedback Sessions with support from the Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA). In this session, participants will be asked to share their perspectives on enrollment concerns and challenges, strategies for increasing enrollment, enhancing the referral and entry process, and resources that would help boost enrollment. Results will be shared in a report that will identify major concerns and challenges, potential solutions, and promising practices, as well as shape future funding and training opportunities. Participants can be practitioners from any Adult Treatment Court type (Adult, DUI/DWI, Mental Health/Co-occurring, and Veterans Treatment Courts, and Tribal Healing to Wellness Courts) and from all disciplines (e.g., judges, coordinators, prosecutors, defense counsel, community supervision, law enforcement, and treatment providers, among other roles). We ask all participants to keep the discussions confidential. Any information you provide will not be presented in a way that could be identified with you. This session will be facilitated by NPC Research. This project was supported by Grant No. 2019-MU-BX-K005 awarded by the Bureau of Justice Assistance. Attendees will receive gift bags provided by NPC Research. Pre-registration required.

Presenters: Juliette R. Mackin and Laura Hunter

See Session 12 notes for presenter bios.


Session 23: WATER – Washington Therapeutic Court Evaluation and Review

The Washington Therapeutic Court Evaluation and Review (WATER) is a series of free self-assessment modules for therapeutic courts to measure how well they meet established best practices. Effective and equitable therapeutic courts are no accident! Established best practices support courts reviewing their procedures on a regular basis. The WATER is here to help you do that! Join this session to learn more about the new WATER tool, where to access the modules, how to use the tool, and resources available.

Presenters: Karen Otis and Dr. Mikala Meize-Bowers

Karen Otis, NCC, LMHC, MA, Deputy Director, Treatment Court Programs, National Training and Technical Assistance, Center for Justice Innovation is the Deputy Director with the Center’s department of treatment court programs, she delivers assistance to state and local jurisdictions in the areas of adult drug courts, family drug courts, veterans treatment courts, mental health courts, and more. Karen also designs and delivers content to enhance fidelity to the treatment court model and improve treatment court best practices. Karen is a licensed mental health counselor with more than a decade of experience in family treatment court. She holds a master’s degree in forensic psychology from John Jay College of Criminal Justice and a master’s degree in mental health counseling from the City College of New York.

Dr. Mikala Meize-Bowers is a Senior Research Associate at the Washington State Center for Court Research (WSCCR) in the Washington Administrative Office of the Courts (AOC). She works with therapeutic courts to develop their data, monitor performance, evaluate programs, provide technical assistance, and use data to make data-driven improvements. Dr. Meize-Bowers earned her PhD in Criminal Justice and Criminology from Washington State University.


Session 24: The Future of Treatment Courts

Treatment courts are the most effective justice system innovation in the last thirty years. Dozens of evaluations and have shown that treatment courts improve reduce reoffending, save lives, and strengthen families, and save money. Despite their unparalleled success, however, treatment courts are facing challenges. First, a shifting legal and cultural landscape is prompting reformers to turn to earlier offramps from the justice system, like pre-arrest models and prosecutor-led diversion. Second, too many treatment courts struggle to adhere to best practices. This session will offer recommendations for building on the success of treatment courts, adapting the model to changing times, and harmonizing treatment courts with emerging justice reform models.

Learning Objectives:

  • Identify the major justice reform trends that may affect treatment courts.
  • Understand common criticisms of the treatment court model.
  • Select one or more recommended practices for strengthening their treatment court.

Presenter: Aaron Arnold

See Session 6 notes for presenter bio.


Closing Remarks

Master of Ceremonies: Jon Tunheim

Originally from South Dakota, Jon Tunheim earned his Bachelor Degree in Physics at South Dakota State University and soon moved to Washington to attend law school at the University of Puget Sound School of Law.  While in law school, he joined the Thurston County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office as a legal intern in 1988.  He was admitted to the practice of law in 1990, and immediately appointed as a Deputy Prosecuting Attorney, serving the office in that capacity until elected Prosecuting Attorney in 2010. As a trial prosecutor, he focused on cases involving sexual assault, domestic violence and crimes against children and was a leader in the effort to create Monarch Children’s Justice and Advocacy Center, an organization providing coordinated services to child victims of abuse and neglect. Jon is a past president of the Washington Government Lawyers Bar Association and a past president of the Washington Association of Prosecuting Attorneys (WAPA).  He currently serves on the Washington State Sentencing Guidelines Commission, the board of the Washington Association of County Officials (WACO), and is a President of the Washington State Association of Drug Court Professionals (WSADCP). A graduate of Leadership Thurston County (Class of 2002), he now serves on its Board of Regents. He is the past president of the United Way of Thurston County, and previously served on the boards of several community non-profit organizations.  For his community work, Jon was recognized as a “Local Hero” by the Washington State Bar Association and in 2012 was named “Lawyer of the Year” by the Thurston County Bar AssociationMost recently, he was recognized as the “Elected Official of the Year” by the Foster Parents Association of Washington State. Since being elected Prosecuting Attorney, Jon has become intensely interested in the positive psychology construct of Hope Theory and how hope can be leveraged to promote personal and organizational effectiveness.  As a self-proclaimed “Hope Theorist”, Jon is convinced that hope is critical to building and leading effective organizations.  Jon is a frequent presenter of hope theory and offers a workshop to provide a framework to better understand individual and collective hope and its positive influence on people and communities.


*Subject to change.

To receive CEU, CLE, or CJE credit (if available) session evaluations must be completed and returned.