One Island, One Team Meeting

January 8, 2008, 4 p.m.   

 

Present: Dick Crawford, Mary Cooke, Danielle Gworek, Neil Seaman, Maureen Lewis, Chris Swiatek, Pete McMahon, Peter Sukmankowski, Edward Nieman, Kathy Duff, Lisa Dollendorf, Theresa Winder, Sybil Kennedy, Andres Arroyo, Reg Schopp, Bob Christmann, Bruce Benson, Carolyn Fabiano, Linda Schultz, Carol Jones

 

Meeting:

Chris Swiatek opened: Introduced speaker Jeff Smith, 8th Judicial District

Drug Court overview – Program for Grand Island Town Court has been running for 3 years (40 people involved) as a problem-solving entity for drug, mental health, and domestic violence issues. Judge Kennedy oversees. It is a judicially driven, coordinated, systemic approach for the non-violent substance abusing offender. Its purpose is to reduce crime and recidivism through a comprehensive, community based treatment system and the promotion of accountability for criminal activity. Other goals of this program: reducing overcrowding in jails; transforming the roles of criminal justice, treatment and social service professionals; promoting employment and increasing education levels of offenders; offender graduation from drug court after 12 months clean and sober, ready to become a productive member of the community.

 

Without intervention or support, offenders can fall into a cycle of recidivism: arrest, arraignment, prosecution, conviction, sentencing, incarceration, release, relapse, arrest…

 

In 1980 there were 27,407 drug-related arrests.

In 1990 there were 108,834 drug-related arrests.

In 1999 there were 145,694 drug-related arrests.

 

This is a 430% increase, with the use of cocaine. We have also seen the introduction of methamphetamine. Alcohol is the #1 drug abused. The average age of offenders is getting younger, and mental health issues are becoming more common.

 

There are 32 drug courts in the 8th Judicial District, rating 89% effectiveness. There are 2,600 drug courts in the nation, and 7 internationally. The caring and concern on the part of the overseeing judges, and grass roots level citizens/volunteers make this program a successful one. The judge takes on a non-adversary role in the courtroom. Defense and prosecution collaborate on rehabilitation plans for the offender. Program alumni give talks and support to current offenders.

 

Many parents have been asking “How do we identify the drugs?” Chris Pyc could share this info.

 

Survey - Andre shared that we still need to discuss the questions that will be asked and what the target population will be.

 

Project Sticker Shock, Wednesday January 30th @ 1pm – Re: underage drinking. Sally Yageric presenting. Dick Crawford plans to attend.

 

Next Meeting: Tuesday, Feb. 12, at 4 p.m. in the High School Small Cafeteria.

Adjournment: 5:15 p.m.