Our four June 2024 grantees are all problem-solving courts. These courts are recognized as the single most successful intervention for leading people with substance use and mental health disorders out of the justice system and into lives of recovery and stability. These courts differ from traditional courts. For adults, a team led by a judge works collaboratively with case managers to address substance abuse, mental health disorders, or both. For teens, their case is diverted to a process maintained by their teen peers.

    • Pennington County Drug Court: $25,000 in discretionary funds to help participants meet their basic needs.
    • Pennington County Mental Health Court: $10,000 in discretionary funds to help participants meet their basic needs.
    • Northern Hills Drug Court: $10,000 in discretionary funds to help participants meet their basic needs.
    • Lawrence County Teen Court: $25,000 in operating support to address increased case load for the Northern Hills

About Pennington County Drug Court

Pennington County Drug Court is a collaborative, non-adversarial judicial resource that gives opportunity to targeted criminal offenders in an effort to change problem behavior and produce sober and productive community members.

This Basic Needs grant will assist participants and their families with basic needs, provide necessary medical, dental, and vision care, obtain psychiatric assessments and/or consults, provide mental health services and treatment, and offer educational services for participants and ancillary services to participants’ families. The funds provide monies for tangible incentives such as gas, food, clothing, and work-related items. The funds will also be used as an incentive to pay for the testing of participants to defray this ongoing expense for the entire time the participant is in the program. Finally, the funds would be used for Drug Court program enhancement through Team building meetings and activities.

About Pennington County Mental Health Court

The Pennington County Mental Health Court enhances public safety by addressing criminal behavior in persons who have severe persistent mental illness by ensuring accountability through supervision, treatment, and the support of community partnerships.

This Basic Needs grant will incentivize participants by assisting them and their families with these basic needs and expenses. In Mental Health Court participants and their families struggle to afford basic needs, such as necessary medical, dental, or vision care, psychiatric assessments and/or consults, mental health services and treatment, and educational services and ancillary services. Participants struggle to afford gas, food, clothing, phones and other daily necessities. Participants also often pay for drug and alcohol testing required in the program.

About Northern Hills Drug Court

Northern Hills Drug Court coordinates comprehensive services for felony offenders whose crimes are related to addiction through a judicially monitored court program that promotes long-term recovery. Their mission is to break the cycle of addiction, foster healthy families, effectively use public funds, and enhance public safety.

This Basic Needs grant will help participants meet their needs over and above the basic operation of the program.  The participants may come into the program without housing, transportation, or funds to even meet basic needs such as food or a cell phone (which is vital to maintain contact with service providers).  These funds may assist with payment of a month’s rent, gas cards, grocery vouchers, or educational expenses or help with acquiring a phone.  In addition, as a source of recognition of their efforts, participants receive incentives when they make their weekly court appearances.   The grant allows for purchases of gift cards, certificates, tokens, and other small items presented to encourage their continued progress.  A small amount is expended for training of the Drug Court team.

About Lawrence County Teen Court:

Lawrence County Teen Court is a voluntary program where young people who have committed minor offenses work through an alternative, teen-run judicial process. Teen offenders are referred from the State Attorney’s office if they admit their guilt. If a youth successfully completes the program, they have no formal record.

This Basic Needs will support general operations of the Lawrence County Teen Court.