The focus of this first session is to present participants with an introduction to culture and the effect it has in drug courts. Mr. Osborne gives the following working definition of ‘culture’ for the purpose of this webinar series: “Culture is the things that people historically have learned to do, believe, value and enjoy. It is the ideals, beliefs, tools, customs and institutions into which each member of society is born.” He then lists some cultures people may identify with, such as gangs, academia and poverty. Mr. Osborne also expresses the difference between cultural competency, which is an individual trait, and cultural proficiency, which is institutionalized. The importance of cultural proficiency is then discussed in terms of the potential benefits it can provide for drug courts, such as higher retention rates and enhanced quality insurance. Mr. Osborne closes the session with a discussion of how these benefits can be achieved through enhancing observation and assessment skills of drug court practitioners to insure clients are receiving the individualized treatment they require to succeed.
To watch a recording of this webinar, please visit our YouTube page by following this link.