Recently TASC, Inc. was able to send representatives from our Laboratory, Collections, Clinical Services, Diversion, and Administration departments to the 2014 Arizona Problem Solving Courts Conference in Prescott, Arizona in April.

The Arizona Problem Solving Courts Conference attracts professionals from all segments of criminal justice in an effort to improve Arizona’s problem solving court system.

Michael Esser from Mohave County TASC was asked to describe his experience at the conference.

Improving Drug Courts, One County at a Time

The idea that we have a system in place to assist those in our communities who are not only struggling with a lifestyle that has them seeking illegal substances as a way of coping, but who also turn to criminal activities as a way of supporting those choices, is powerful.

Being involved since the inception of our local Mohave County Adult Drug Court, we have been able to see first-hand just how our Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP) and drug testing, coupled with enhanced probation monitoring, weekly court staffing, and other vital community involvement have been able to improve the lives of our participants.

Recently, we were invited to attend the 2014 Arizona Problem Solving Courts Conference in Prescott, Arizona. This annual training was hosted by the Arizona Association of Drug Court Professionals and Arizona State University and featured two days of insightful training.

Based on what role you play in your local drug court team, this year’s conference was broken down into five basic educational tracks:

  • Veterans
  • Juveniles and transition-age youth
  • Evidence-based practices
  • Mental health and trauma
  • Treatment

Based on the role we play here in Mohave County, we attended the treatment track and were able to not only see what providers like us were doing in other counties, but we were able to take back with us some useful practices and researched information that has since improved our local court.

From our own Jamie Anderson’s breakout session stealing presentation on the complications associated with testing for synthetics to topics like, “Doing the Right Thing for the Right People” and “Drug Trends and Emerging Issues”, those in attendance were given a refreshing variety of fact-based training that we are now using on a regular basis.

One of the biggest things we’ve discovered are that each drug court prospect should be judged on a case-by-case basis and that those with some violent offenses in their past shouldn’t be automatically excluded from participating.

This revelation, and the studies provided that support it, will allow us to accept more participants into our local program that prior to the training were being excluded because of a guideline we, on the local level, had put in place.

When it comes to truly caring about those we treat, compassion is essential. My take away from this year’s training is that, when we take the time to further our own education, with the patient in mind, we then have the opportunity to not only care, but to do it while being in the best possible position to assist those we’ve committed to help.

Doug Hopple from Yavapai County TASC was asked to describe his experience at the conference.

I recently attended the Arizona Problem Solving Courts Conference on April 28th and 29th in Prescott, Arizona.

While stationed at the TASC exhibitors table I had the opportunity to speak with many different individuals from around the state including judges, probation officers, and counselors just to name a few. It was a great experience to answer questions and provide information to those who may not have been familiar with what TASC does and the services we offer.

This conference gave us the chance to network with many individuals who work in fields that directly connect to what TASC does. Besides working the exhibitor table I was also able to attend a few of the sessions. Of particular interest was the presentation by our own Jaime Anderson who did an excellent job speaking about synthetic drugs. I enjoy going to these type of conferences and getting to meet and talk to people about what TASC is all about. To listen to their concerns and their praises and ultimately to help promote and grow our business.