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Podcast

Measuring the Miracle: The Promise of Recovery Capital – Justice to Healing

Hosts Kristen DeVall, Ph.D. and Christina Lanier, Ph.D. welcome Susan Broderick, J.D., the Director of the National District Attorneys Association as she focuses on the promise of recovery capital and its impact on the road to recovery.
 

Webinar

FY2021 BJA Adult Drug Court and Veterans Treatment Court Discretionary Grant Program Webinar

NDCRC directors Dr. Kristen DeVall and Dr. Christina Lanier provide an overview of the major components of the Bureau of Justice Assistance’s (BJA) Request for Proposals (RFP), examples of each required section, tips for strengthening your proposal, and common mistakes to avoid.
 

Podcast

The Whys of Self-Care for Treatment Courts

Hosts Kristen DeVall, Ph.D. & Christina Lanier, Ph.D. welcome Sally MacKain, Ph.D., the Director of Clinical Treatment at the National Drug Court Resource Center and professor of psychology, as she discusses how stress may impact treatment court practitioners. They focus on the science behind the stress, distress, and impairment continuum, as well as how self-care practices can assist with stress management. Dr. MacKain also provides guidance on signs of burnout, as well as some ideas for active self-care.
 

Podcast

Use of Language in Recovery

Episode 2 of the Justice to Healing podcast focuses on the use and impact that language has on the recovery process. Hosts Kristen DeVall, Ph.D. & Christina Lanier, Ph.D. welcome Michelle Gunn, the Director of Recidivism Reduction Services (RRS) & the ReEntry Systems of Effective Treatment (RESET) program at Coastal Horizons Center Inc. in Wilmington, North Carolina, to the program. The trio discuss how the (mis)use of language within the criminal justice system and within the realm of recovery can negatively impact individuals engaged in these arenas.

 

Webinar

Grant Writing Workshop: Selling Your Treatment Court Program

NDCRC directors Dr. Kristen DeVall and Dr. Christina Lanier provide an overview of the major components of the Bureau of Justice Assistance’s (BJA) Request for Proposals (RFP), examples of each required section, tips for strengthening your proposal, and common mistakes to avoid.
 

Podcast

Introduction to the NDCRC – Justice to Healing

Justice to Healing co-hosts Kristen DeVall and Christy Lanier give a brief overview of the history of treatment courts in the U.S. and the goals of the National Drug Court Resource Center and preview future podcast topics.
 

The Science of Future Thinking and its Role in Recovery

Would you prefer a delicious piece of chocolate now or a whole chocolate bar tomorrow? A 3-day vacation now or a 7-day vacation in 5 months? To spend an extra/bonus $500 now, or put it in a savings account to accrue interest? Most people prefer immediate rewards over delayed ones. However, people with substance use challenges tend to find it especially difficult to imagine their futures and delay rewards. Research indicates that people with substance use disorders have a narrower “temporal window,” meaning their attention is focused on gaining near-future rewards, such as the next drink or next drug use opportunity. For example, studies show that when asked about their own future, the typical individual reports goals and activities about 5 years in the future. In stark contrast, people with heroin use disorders offered reports that extended only 9 days in the future, on average (Patel & Amlen, 2020).
 
Delay discounting is the term used to describe the rate at which future rewards are less valued over time. Higher rates of delay discounting are related to impulsivity and risky behaviors like drug and alcohol use. Research in Episodic Future Thinking (EFT) suggests that helping people to vividly imagine personally salient future events could help them learn to delay rewards in order to get a bigger payoff in the longer term (Bulley & Gullo, 2017). Applied to a treatment court context, clients could learn to forgo short term rewards such as relief from craving or feeling euphoric, in favor of long-term goals, like graduating from the program, freedom from probation, and regaining custody of children.
 
Several promising studies of EFT with people with alcohol dependence show positive results. For example, Snider, LaConte & Bickel, (2016) encouraged participants to expand their temporal windows by thinking about personally relevant future events and describing them in salient detail. Participants reported the most positive event that could realistically happen at each of 5 points in the future (1 day, 1 week, 1 month, 3 months, and 1 year). Researchers then probed: “What will you be doing?” “Whom will you be with?” “Where will you be?” “How will you be feeling?” “What will you be seeing?” “What will you be hearing?” “What will you be tasting?” “What will you be smelling?” (pp. 1160-1161). They also asked a comparison group of people with alcohol dependence to imagine PAST events in the same timeframes, with similarly worded probes. This method allowed researchers to assess the unique contribution of a future time orientation.
 
Each participant’s future or past personalized account was then integrated into a task in which they chose between hypothetical gains in money received now or after some delay (e.g., “Would you like $50 now or $100 in a year?” They also administered measures of alcohol use.  They found that over time, people in the future-thinking/EFT group came to value future monetary rewards more highly and reduced their alcohol consumption. These improvements were also found in a study that involved a one-week, 4-session/practice protocol with people with alcohol dependence (Patel & Amlen, 2020). In addition to decreases in alcohol demands and delay discounting rates (i.e., they were more able to delay rewards), participants who had engaged in even 1 session also showed significant increases in mindfulness—an essential tool in supporting recovery.
 
More research is needed to determine whether EFT can effectively contribute to treatment of substance use disorders. But treatment court personnel and providers can easily incorporate these highly targeted, future-thinking questions to help clients visualize a future self that is healthier and more fulfilled. Repeated practice is essential to change, and the frequent contacts afforded to treatment court clients could provide ideal opportunities to engage them in this line of thinking.
 

We hope you will join us on NDCRC’s Beyond the Field discussion board for continued dialogue about the topic. All Beyond the Field newsletter features can be found on our blog for easy reference!

 

References: 

Bulley A, Gullo MJ. (2017). The influence of episodic foresight on delay discounting and demand for alcohol. Addictive Behaviors, 66, 1-6. doi: 10.1016/j.addbeh.2016.11.003. Epub 2016 Nov 3. PMID: 27837662.
 
Patel, H. & Amlung, M. (2020). Acute and extended exposure to episodic future thinking in a treatment seeking addiction sample: A pilot study. Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment, 116, ISSN 0740-5472, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jsat.2020.108046.
 
Snider SE, LaConte SM, Bickel WK. (2016). Episodic Future Thinking: Expansion of the temporal window in individuals with Alcohol Dependence. Alcoholism: Clinical & Experimental Research, 40(7), 1558-1566. doi: 10.1111/acer.13112. Epub 2016 Jun 1. PMID: 27246691; PMCID: PMC5497459.
 
 
 

Written by Sally MacKain, Ph.D., LP



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Recent Comments
    Between February 11 and March 22, 2021, DOJ’s JustGrants team is offering 10 90-minute webinar sessions on the application submission process. The webinars will provide targeted assistance to potential applicants applying for DOJ funding opportunities. Registration for each session will be limited, to allow for the JustGrants team to respond to questions.
    The upcoming webinars will explain—
    • steps to take prior to applying for funding;
    • how to find open DOJ funding opportunities in Grants.gov;
    • how to apply for funding using JustGrants;
    • data-stringify-type=”bold”>OJJDP FY 2021 Juvenile Drug Treatment Court Program
    • the JustGrants roles and their responsibilities and required actions;
    • how to navigate and use JustGrants to submit your application; and
    • where to find training materials, job aids, and other resources.

        

    Compassion Fatigue

    Compassion is defined as “the ability to understand the emotional state of another person or oneself…and a desire to alleviate or reduce the suffering” (Engel, 2008). Given that treatment courts are an application of therapeutic jurisprudence (see Winick & Wexler, 2015) and seek to facilitate the rehabilitation process, all team members (e.g., prosecuting attorneys, defense attorneys, law enforcement representatives, case managers, probation/parole agents, etc.) should display compassion when interacting with participants.
     
    We know that the work of treatment court practitioners can be both rewarding and challenging. On one had treatment courts facilitate change within individuals who may have repeatedly cycled through the criminal justice system. However, asking team members to embody principles of therapeutic jurisprudence generally and compassion more specifically may run contrary to previous schooling and/or training. For example, Norton, Johnson, & Woods (2016) highlight the challenges lawyers may experience given their law school training (e.g., Socratic method) and the structure of the legal profession (e.g., adversarial system). This reality underscores the need to be mindful of a phenomenon titled “compassion fatigue” (or secondary trauma). Compassion fatigue has been defined as “’the cost of caring’ for those in professions that regularly see and care for others in pain and trauma” (Grant, Lavery, & Decarlo, 2019:1).
     
    Dr. Françoise Mathieu’s TEDx Talk “The Edge of Compassion” addresses strategies for sustaining both compassion and empathy for others.
     
    In order to maintain fidelity to the treatment court model, it is imperative that all team members are operating in accordance with the principles of therapeutic jurisprudence and are mindful of how compassion fatigue (or secondary trauma) manifests itself and what it “looks” like. This level of awareness among treatment court practitioners will allow for course correction should they experience the “psychological and physical effects of exposure to the pain, distress, or injustice suffered by clients” (Norton, Johnson, & Woods, 2016:988).

    According to Lee & Miller (2013) “Self-care has been described as a process, an ability, but most often as engagement in particular behaviors that are suggested to promote specific outcomes such as a ‘sense of subjective well-being’, a healthy lifestyle, stress relief, and resiliency for the prevention of empathy fatigue” (97). They go on to describe two distinct, but inherently connected dimensions of self-care; personal and professional. Personal self-care focuses on holistic health and well-being of oneself, where as professional self-care “is understood as the process of purposeful engagement in practices that promote effective and appropriate use of the self in the professional role within the context of sustaining holistic health and well-being” (98). Lee & Miller argue that both dimensions of self-care must be cultivated in order to develop and maintain a healthy and resilient workforce.

    So, what is needed in order to fully develop personal and professional self-care? What specific areas of one’s personal and professional life should be considered and supported? Lee & Miller (2013) identified several areas within both dimensions which are outlined in Table 1 below. A specific discussion of each area of attention and support is provided in the journal article. Go check it out!

    Additional readings on the topic of compassion fatigue are provided below and we hope you will join us on NDCRC’s Beyond the Field discussion board for continued dialogue about the topic.

     

    References: 

    Engel, B. (2008, April 29). “What is Compassion and How Can It Improve My Life? Psychology Today https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/the-compassion-chronicles/200804/what-is-compassion-and-how-can-it-improve-my-life
     
    Grant, H.B., Lavery, C.F., & Decarlo, J. (2019). “An Exploratory Study of Police Officers: Low Compassion Satisfaction and Compassion Fatigue: Frontiers in Psychology, 9:1-5. doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2018.02793
     
    Norton, L. Johnson, J. & Woods, G. (2016). “Burnout and Compassion Fatigue: What Lawyers Need to Know.” UMKC Law Review, 84(4): 987-1002.
     
    Winick, Bruce J. and Wexler, David B. (2015) “Drug Treatment Court: Therapeutic Jurisprudence Applied,” Touro Law Review, 18(3) https://digitalcommons.tourolaw.edu/lawreview/vol18/iss3/6
     

    Related Upcoming Training:

    Justice Clearinghouse
    Date: Tuesday, April 6 @ 1-2:15pm (EST)
     

    Written by Dr. Kristen DeVall

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    Recent Comments
      OJJDP has cancelled the seven solicitations listed below due to a technical issue in JustGrants. OJJDP is working on the issue and intends to repost these solicitations as soon as it is resolved. Applicants who have already applied will be notified of the issue and invited to reapply.
      • OJJDP FY 2021 Children's Advocacy Centers National Subgrants Program
      • OJJDP FY 2021 Delinquency Prevention Grants Program
      • OJJDP FY 2021 Family Drug Court Program
      • OJJDP FY 2021 Juvenile Drug Treatment Court Program
      • OJJDP FY 2021 Opioid Affected Youth Initiative
      • OJJDP FY 2021 Second Chance Act Youth Offender Reentry Program
      • OJJDP FY 2021 Supporting Tribal Youth: Training and Technical Assistance and Youth Leadership Development
      Stay tuned to JUVJUST and JustGrants for announcements about the reposting of these solicitations along with the new deadlines for Grants.gov and JustGrants. Also, visit the funding page for updates on these solicitations and other OJJDP funding opportunities. Questions can be directed to the NCJRS Response Center at grants@ncjrs.gov.

      Self Care

      The term “self-care” has been used by scholars and practitioners across many disciplines (e.g., social work, psychology, nursing, education, etc.) as an identified strategy for bolstering health, well-being, and resiliency among members of their respective workforces. Despite this and the increasing discussion of self-care within the larger society, minimal consideration has been paid to the role of self-care in providing these same benefits to practitioners within the criminal justice system and specifically treatment courts. This is an obvious oversight and an area in need of empirical focus given the nature of work performed by criminal justice system and specifically treatment court practitioners.

       

      According to Lee & Miller (2013) “Self-care has been described as a process, an ability, but most often as engagement in particular behaviors that are suggested to promote specific outcomes such as a ‘sense of subjective well-being’, a healthy lifestyle, stress relief, and resiliency for the prevention of empathy fatigue” (97). They go on to describe two distinct, but inherently connected dimensions of self-care; personal and professional. Personal self-care focuses on holistic health and well-being of oneself, where as professional self-care “is understood as the process of purposeful engagement in practices that promote effective and appropriate use of the self in the professional role within the context of sustaining holistic health and well-being” (98). Lee & Miller argue that both dimensions of self-care must be cultivated in order to develop and maintain a healthy and resilient workforce.

       

      So, what is needed in order to fully develop personal and professional self-care? What specific areas of one’s personal and professional life should be considered and supported? Lee & Miller (2013) identified several areas within both dimensions which are outlined in Table 1 below. A specific discussion of each area of attention and support is provided in the journal article. Go check it out!

       

      Table 1: Dimensions of Self-Care and Areas of Attention & Support

      Self-Care Dimensions

      Areas of Attention & Support

      Personal

      Physical

       

      Psychological & emotional

       

      Social

       

      Leisure

       

      Spiritual

      Professional

      Workload & time management

       

      Attention to professional role

       

      Attention to reactions to work

       

      Professional social support & self-advocacy

       

      Professional development

       

      Revitalization & generation of energy

      Self-care plans should be individualized and include practices and strategies that are relevant/important to you! What works for one person may not work for another. What worked for you last year may not work this year or next. Revise your self-care plans, practices, and strategies as needed.

       

      We encourage you to listen to the latest episode of the Justice to Healing podcast The Whys of Self-Care in Treatment Courts with guest Dr. Sally MacKain, Clinical Psychologist & Professor of Psychology.

       

      We also hope you will join us on NDCRC’s Beyond the Field discussion board https://discussion.ndcrc.org for dialogue about self-care in general and we would love to hear about the self-care strategies you’ve identified for yourself, questions you have, etc.

       

      Referenced article: 

       

      Lee, J.J. & Miller, SE. (2013). A Self-Care Framework for Social Workers: Building a Strong Foundation for Practice. Families in Society. 94(2):96-103. doi:10.1606/1044-3894.4289

       

      Click here for a copy of the article: A Self Care Framework for Social Workers Building a Strong Foundation for Practice

       

      Upcoming Training:

       

      SAMHA’s GAINS Center

      Self-Care for Criminal Justice Professionals Across the Sequential Intercept Model: Considerations for Intercepts 3-5

      Date: January 28, 2021, 2:00–3:30 p.m. ET

       

      Register for the webinar Here!

       

      Written by Dr. Kristen DeVall

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      Recent Comments
        This webinar will provide an overview of the FY 21 Adult Drug Court & Veterans Treatment Court Discretionary Grant Program request for proposals. Greg Torain, Policy Advisor with the Bureau of Justice Assistance, Office of Justice Programs, US Department of Justice will be presenting an overview of the four possible application categories, solicitation goals, & proposal requirements. Questions from attendees will be answered as time permits. The webinar will be facilitated on Tuesday, February 2, 2021 from 1:30-3pm (EST). We hope you will join us! Register Here