12 Voices in 12 Hours - Hours 3 - Drug Court Judges


Transcript - Not for consumer use. Robot overlords only. Will not be accurate.

Twelve voices in twelve hours this is a special community discussion and hope feel like prevention on news radio 930 W. Howard daylong conversation continues and the OP joint crisis and we have in studio with us buffalo judges. Tom Hammond dale. And Craig Hannah they're both here they oversee Buffalo's OP joint intervention court which is one year old this month announced judge on the Deo. How this came to be in buffalo seems like it's a model in this. Well what Buffalo's. City court we've been pretty innovative with respect to. Problems solving features in our court. We are. Or drug court to a domestic violence court a human trafficking court. The opiate court is an offshoot of what we saw in need in a knee in her neighborhood or community in coming into work court. And you'll be at court was developed. As a result of I need we found in her court. We hit the tools available to us with all the different community. Our resources are through our courts program. But eventually what happened was we were frame being if you will be an epidemic. Was hitting her court. In in resulting in many of the defendants which. That. And we found that we we try to figure a way to get an earlier intervention. With key defendants that were coming into work core. And that is the result of GOP's core. And also joining us in studio judge Craig Hannah you've kind of been on the frontlines of this since the very beginning. Over the last year. How have you felt that this is changed. The wave that. You handle it day to day out operations that going from the traditional way of handling these cases to the new. OP court. Well first let me say good morning and thank you for shedding light on this very important topic. I believe the way we're making an impact because we're taken shame and stigma away from addiction and also focusing on the person more than the punishment crimes. As you may know we put to criminal charges on hold for about ninety days while we focus on the wellbeing of the person. We conference this offense not the thinness as he went and Shia and Shia hope and pride in individual. And we do a lot of things now which is there'll be a problem. We do and ancillary services if they need public assistance free help them out of that if any transportation back and forth to help me get transportation bus tokens. Bus passes and any visitation with their children. Because you know linking crime in my on the law they need their family to all community support them. We can direct him in a right way. So make a long story short I believe the way we're making an impact as it were taken at individuals at the level that they are and make much more productive person. How often do you see them when they start with you and in LP record every weekday five days a week we meet face to face contact Elena put eyes on them. And the reason why you will emphasize on them is if your parents you kind of know a judge as we always say. Instead of being a parent having two or three kids a judge is like being a parent for 400000 people. And you wanna make sure you get the best out of them. Punishment is not just punishing people and our job is to make sure only walk out that courtroom they're very comment. We also have an 8 PM curfew because we know a night time a lot of people didn't trouble so they have to check in what electronic monitoring have to either use a a Smartphone Pena location or actually call and speak to someone and let us know they're doing now. All weekend we have contact too with him to call and let us know. We send them to treatments every day. We recommend self help and they need that as well and the main thing I guess is saying is that we try to keep them busy on their path of recovery. I think guns need both of you can touch on this a starring with Ukraine. How different is so what you've been doing over the past year to how you've been handling cases and how big of an adjustment has spent for. You and your staff and everyone around. Court system. Why do I think last staff and I know just I am and they'll probably join in on this. We we are doing yeoman effort we just took the amount of information alone people they came in and incorporated intra normal calendar. I'm normally a traditional drug court is a post this position because this is intervention court. Is predisposition. Sold the second to have contact but it criminal justice system there actually place and treatment. And everything is voluntary because as we know everyone is innocent until proven guilty so they volunteer we get a lead them medically assisted treatment. Our traditional behavioral treatment or both within hours of their rest. I should hear horror stories that it took six weeks to get someone connected the math and now. We can connect and methodology and six hours and asked judge alma dale alluded to. It's because the linkages that weak stab is over the years when our courts program and it for a court. Yeah. WBN news time 814 we continued twelve voices in twelve hours who joined in studio by judge Craig Hannah judge Tom I'm available dealing with the buffalo is a city of Buffalo's. Opiate intervention courts and it's kind of an idea that's. You're one of the first in the country two way to have something like this in the this state that it's in right now now one year in. What is it like being a TrailBlazer so what you both answer kind of what it's like. Being. A TrailBlazer. In this field that I'm sure there are a lot a lot of challenges the common sense well. Certainly there's a lot of attention. And is the chief Georgia buffalo my responsibilities. Are supervision. And I also am the supervising judge of the city courts are very judicial districts so my my obligations error. Quite extensive. So quite frankly I was good good enough to say. Although most publicity all of this on in quote inquiring about our court. I hint that it carried over to judge here. And says get to work. Sure I'm sure you appreciated that. Well they say they only give you what you can handle. Them thing are really appreciate it about everyone covering this important topic is that. We and now like to say may halftime adjustment. And I believe we can people can learn from adjustments that we may initially worsening every once you inpatient. And only in that using them medically assisted treatment. About halfway in the online and asked for to examine dale with salute to our community partners came aboard. Has said they can help us facilitate getting people medically assisted treatment immediately. As opposed you hear horror stories about people waiting six weeks eight weeks or five months just to get the assistance they need. And launch our community partners came aboard with us we're doing something that's new on novel and unique and I believe other jurisdictions can come and see what we're doing. And take what they need back to their own jurisdictions. Judge can't how many are in the court right now well Mike Leclerc was probably wants to strangle me because our our our typical day. We have Obama may be semi people reporting. But I would say more than half for our people are either in their traditional inpatient facility and when they transition now that's and they start daily report. Seven people sounds like a lot of people that they'll live but and as a jam a deal allude to. What we can just wanna help people so it may take five minutes with some version and may take twenty minutes at the purchasing crisis. Well we take that time or data make the person feel important. Because as some of us know when we have individuals that are addicts they may burn on the bridges they made it broke on other family linkages. Our job is instill pride and hope an individual and get them back on their path to recovery. So you walk into our courtroom. And other like any laws being and I looks like is more like a cheerleading or social work. I look at myself as being like their recovery coach. Just encouraging them to be the best person that they can be I don't want them living me. I just want to me about it now and to deal lead meetings with how long do people left to see you every day. Well if they're doing well Lincoln path to recover we go by clean time. If they're clean 45 days till we break it down to maybe reporting two days but we try to keep everyone around for ninety days and intervention process. I am as we know recovery if you don't do at least ninety days of re an eventual recovery it doesn't really sing again. So for their first ninety days were focusing on the recovery only. Obviously they have a criminal charge nice and it's everywhere we go. We put the criminal charge on hold because we do everything from low level felonies I mean low level felonies and misdemeanors so. Their crimes that are happen but the main thing is we can. Get the person that he did treatment they need which is to root problem of the crime did you clamoring that revolving door at him entering out from the justices. It's got to understand also that it's never going to. Taking on someone's and are going to be clean. And sober and drug free. In their system in ninety days. It's good to excellent trying to two and that's that's the beauty of there's an extension of the ninety diss the and if they go through. And they're qualified. And they do have some type of disposition of their case though going to a drug court. To continue this this process what. The intervention is meant to prevent the death. We're talking about Buffalo's OP joint intervention court with two judges in studio this morning Tom on the dale and Craig Hannah. And looking at twelve voices in twelve hours the OP joint crisis here in Western New York. Does this only involved people from the city of buffalo judge and a war. At this point we're dealing with in a visit from the city of buffalo but you have to realize they got arrested in buffalo so to say about. More than half repetitious don't actually live in the city proper. They live somewhere in our county coroner or joining counties. But I believe within the next couple months. They don't have to get a rests in the buffalo city court mark court permit program coordinator Jeff Smith. It's gonna have to start making our quarter allowed hum cord injured Jeremy dale was talking about quarter. Is there is arm a stitch into law in New York State that allows. Drug courts. To pub in cases in other words being the hub for city and the locals. Town and village courts. Where they may be able if they don't have the resources to develop it or can't bring those resources to their court. They will bring the defendant to our court in we will. Legal jurisdiction under the statute handles cases. And we intend to do via. When Terry missed his. Correct this model. We might see it. All across Western New York call across New York State sooner rather than later right it's correct our chief judge judge urging unity fury. Is. Already are set in motion heard administration. Our two. Develop a programs that it's going to work in every court inner. Our jurisdiction in the State of New York. She's already are he had one developed in the Bronx. And the working on several already. And around the country to our our people coming here to buffalo the scene this. Yes they're coming from buffalo them on different regions they're actually asking me to come to other places. And as I stated before we wanna be totally open and transparent. We don't want a homeless program we want this program to spread. Who if someone sees something that they like we want our program a meal to travel well and fit the needs of other jurisdiction as yours I'm dale stated. We we have we. Administrative charge are jar jar upon law true idol. And she is so much on board with all this missile supporter of in wants to see it develop acquire a county State's she's super prices. Now if another municipality and other court system wanted to adopt some of the principles of this OP court. And put that with their existing drug court. Would they be able to do so or does it need to be an entirely different program could this be phased in in some areas instead of being. A different program in some areas that they need to be a different program while. You feel good example. In Amherst town of Amherst they would like to develop a opiate. Portion of their drug court. Now it takes I enjoyed full time every day coming in to develop a program that we have the we have. It full time judging any part time church all the current time charge is our. The our Carol. Australia. She is the drug court church she can't be here every day. So they're developing a team effort with the two judges to incorporate some type of opiate intervention in today so. Their morals going to be similar. Put different because they're going to be using to charges. In the same courtroom. So developing it is going to change. Pleas by place. Has this exceeded your expectations what was the goal when you went into the Sierra. It's far exceed our expectations. Our goal for the life of our grass to deal with 275. People for three years. And we're at over 250. Within a year. And the reason why and I think we Lutui before we don't turn away anyone. We give most of our cases from arraignment but some of my other colleagues have found people on their part struggling. So we'd be transferred to matters or us so instead of getting gradual as we thought maybe one or two a day or maybe five a week. Within the first two months our numbers went from zero under. Because if my colleagues said they have person apart and Ito. Let's take over the case and make sure we get them help them. Twelve voices in twelve hours this is especially community discussion and appealing to prevention on news radio 930 W. And WBN news time is 837 were in studio this morning twelve voices in twelve hours with the OP RE. Court judges in the city of buffalo judge Craig Hannah Georgetown comment you judge Hannah I'm gonna ask you you bring and completely different perspective to this. As a judge because you're also a recovering addict yourself. Yes I think the best part about it now always say this. Is I like to show individuals and I'll always be open I want them to talk. But I want to inspire in them that the the only thing different between them and I is one thing and that's time and they're playing time. If they put their time and put effort into it can do anything. I tell them and it and I know it sounds kind of crazy but. I'm pretty sure there's teachers and guidance counselor either roll their eyes their role lowering their graves that the fact that I am here helping people now. And I never thought that was worthy enough to to be in the position help people but then individuals told me like I guess is just an old. I guess in the end metaphor you how do you judge people as she walked him out there moccasins you know and I just know that. I know you can get the best out of every one and there's goodness and every one. And it be that we all make mistakes and if you wanna be totally honest. Our mistakes are what define us and we've learned from that and become better people. And I try to inspire all my participants like the only reason that I'm here and doing well is because. Twenty years ago someone took an interest in me got me to help them and need I listen to them I did well and in the sky's the limit. So yeah immigration to. Analysts say I'm an inspiration and I want them got easier as soon as I looked to be the focus is always say that about me it's about them. And I don't want to get too metaphysical but they always say recovery once you're doing great you're supposed to go back. And tell the world the wondrous things in Delors has done for you because right now we all look like we've come out of this let's start. But if people on the oldest cars that we have. And the struggles that we have how to inspire people to get through their struggle. How how did that turn around work for you you're headed to the military before drugs got in the way I don't know what happened between then and now. To get to this point. Let's say the best thing to have been as that people didn't let me get away with that. And that's the best part about how to I believe and I nodes examined dale judge Russell talk about it you don't have to hit rock bottom. You'll have to lose or destroy your whole life you just need to be there is a point where someone wants to change. And I was lucky I had an individual that they let me make excuses anymore. Individual descended down I don't believe all the BS you're talking and this individual was in my sergeant instructor and wasn't a judge. Her name was Maggie Hannah. Who told me that she was sick on Libya she was tired of Macon on excuses. She was tired of me not only up to happen. She caught me a functional attic which had no idea what that meant. Let's let you get up and do everything is supposed to do. But you're addicted. And then women resonated and I think that's who we are neat when he and so on that care about us. And these she's my friends to tell you the stuff to BS is is making Hannah your wife and that's not your mother yet okay. Yet on my wife has kind of taken a rat and held from a mother so she adds taunts and it. So what if it wasn't for good people and I know judge I'm dale was say this early. This good people they care about you before you're Smart enough to care about yourself and that's how we try to incorporate our report to that this will. V for both of you he mentioned that accountability. And a lot of people look at the OP court in the city of buffalo and say you know where is the accountability are we going easy. On these people but accountability is a big part. Did its crack your errant. Users talking a broad. Why do is drug courts work. A long time ago when he first started drug courts in 9493. They thought they're holding ten years over her head was going to to make them. Be compliant with drug Rea. It's five years later the report showed that it was finally somebody being judged Pitt team. Take care about the individual that made everything work. Exactly ten years they were moving over. Now why you do something like well it's human nature to want help individuals. Are. I'm a supervise. Our look at the bottom line I have to work with the budget. It's cost efficient. 6000 dollars to leave him someone 30000 dollars to put them in jail for a year. It works because we come back into the community. They start taking care of supporting their families know our us supporting the families. There are so many assets to our community by developing an individual. That fits accountable leader community. That it makes it all worthwhile ideal for us to take these steps. The median is time is 845 eighths twelve voices in twelve hours work. Looking at this hour at Buffalo's OP joint intervention court and innovative court that's now being looked at all around the country and of course New York State. Cricket to judge Craig Hannah and judge Tom on details are with us and judge can you talk a little bit more about the accountability. Here with this. Yes I just want to let everyone know is that not only are we working on a participant. While the participant is doing his first stages of recovery. How we have that we have some cookies compasses we have the DA in a prosecutor. They're leading trying to work out how they can resolve the case. So let's say when that sixty or ninety days actually becomes an happens. We know better way to handle the case most of our cases goats who would you examined a show dale I'm allude to earlier. It's short traditional drug court. And that would it be a nice soft handoff. And obviously and the drug court in obvious sentencing so that timed it would take their plea to drug court and they'll be the same accountability. Some cases. When I have to say that I let that think our defense bar. There's some caller good samaritan law and medically necessity cases. We're as someone takes an individual or have coughing aid for them the law as a car Robin they won't have to give prosecutors for. But all we do we make sure to individual is to help. You ought to help and they get into the get the linkages to treatment before they good samaritan law they case gets dismissed. In the main they want and still is just because someone is in our court doesn't mean that the neck and we held accountable when it happens. Again we put the criminal charges in advance. While we focus on the medical needs. But after that ninety days we get right back to the charge in return it because sometimes your crime victims. And they need to be held accountable for that as well. You're working with though a lot of these people whether it's prescription drugs that I hair when you're seeing them every single day you know talking to them face to face. You have people who say. They chose to abuse their prescription drugs they chose to become addicted. From working with these people how would you respond. Today experts first elected tell them we gotta look at this as an illness or sickness. If someone sick and they need help you want to make it to help you don't want to have to shame or the stigma otherwise people won't come forward. Especially their family members won't even direct them to now. So these are individual there are Brothers or sisters there are cousins are our neighbors. And it's our job to help the least the loss in the overlooked and to make sure they get doubt that the Indy. And I think one day and I hope I might have rose colored glasses on that we as society we have to look out for individuals. Even Internet ready to look out for themselves. You see Cusick. They choose to take their drug for the first time. After that the addiction stars. For example crack cocaine. That first hit releases are always in your dole would mean where all the pleasures is released at one to aim. And it person becomes so Hartley objected that their always chasing their first prize so to speak. It only lists for twenty minutes then they're looking for that in the don't mean can't be replaced. For a year so just a little at a time it becomes such an addictive prices. We have no control. Over what happened to them except for the first usage. And people that say. They're choosing to use it its R&D. So that is an excellent point because. Let's say I like I myself as a unless supposed to eat red meat anymore at all. But and it and I'm pretty sure Arlen I see my doctor I wished I'd be the red meat for about two weeks I imagine someone tells you. Something they gave you the most pleasurable experience in your life and that's highly addictive that one hit as addictive as you can never ever use it again. I mean I believe our participants. Don't wanna use a lot of them like you judge Emmett did allude to. There are so this thing is so attractive and is that falls in the lower ninth is calling them and they want to stay clean. We're joined by judge Craig cannot judge Tom on the day O line in studio twelve voices seemed twelve hours continues to both with the city of Buffalo's opiate intervention courts and two we were talking a little bit. In the break you know we mentioned one of the criticisms about accountability and that something that you address but also. You know people will listen at two OK we of one judge just assigned to this will. How much money are we spending but Tom you were saying you guys and have to scale back look at the bigger picture at the end of the day. I was trying to explain that the department of social services help us by giving people. Are into law a Medicare Medicaid. Our two cats services here and they questioned in the initial stages of drug court the question. Why. Are we have going out of our way for these individuals. When they're the ones that are addicted and there to teach. Take steps for themselves. Well they're third department had came to us them in March 1 of the graduation season and solve the the good news that came out of hoping someone. In the heat. Became very emotional. And became very about the infected to this day he still donate his services he's retired to our veterans court. Well he did restart the are helped Erie county and he found that within three years we had seeds of account he millions of dollars. By. Delivering over 280. Drug free babies which take about 250000. Dollars to rehab a baby off of drugs. From a mother that was taking it during pregnancy. He found that we had put many fathers base to work and we're now able to pay their child support payments. To the colonial period with all the also that we could see millions of dollars for the Carol. And narrowly or gotten. The fact that you were hoping a person and making a person more productive. But we are receiving the county Monique is it became really. A thing there it made sense. So that you can really measure there's so many different ways but judge Hannah. You know that the OP record is working do you go back and monitors the first people who came through a year ago they still watching them yet. Yes we still track them but analysts say the main goal of this animation sound kind of easy our goal is to keep them alive. And that's what judge and the dale alluded to we first started. Dirt impetus of this court is that a lot of our individual. We're not naked and through the normal court process to be in our traditional drug court because that's after the disposition or plea. We have a lot of our court staff being very disappointing when they can't read about. Individuals that were on succumbing to a overdoses. Of not having the services actually mean and from drug court. So our goal right now is to make sure we get our individuals from this phase phase one the recovery. So let me get to phase two of their recovery into drug court. And then does sound kind of easy but it's not easy because every day were trying to make sure their steadfast in their purpose of recovery. I'll give you one of the examples there if progress to an opiate court. I was covering more of our Georgia's four felony here. A nineteen year old unveil it at eighteen year old female word that. Four different girlfriend. We're scheduled. After the had been caught with drugs or a felony. To be in front of me for a felony here. A woman approached the bench and said. Couldn't charge carry speak to for a minute my son and his girlfriend will not be in court today. Because whistler we found them on the bag overdosed that. And I said why didn't we get involved with them sooner after the arraignment. Why why did they are have a chance to overdose especially the young ones they don't know how to engage themselves. Once they've been wrong. Albeit kids taken heroin laced with fentanyl and died. If there's hurt because we didn't do something we had him here. And within a matter of four days they were dead. You tell that story we hear about. The success the enrollments. In this opiate intervention court and it sounds OK you know this is. Great that we have this many people involved it's also startling. That we have this many people involved. Are you able the look gets. The way this is gone over the past year. And save yourself you know I believe we're making a difference I believe we're turning a corner. In buffalo. We. I definitely make an indifference our numbers our goal and a common and at times we the peoples of coming. So opiate overdose are going down so we army and indifference but I think demeaning way we're making interfaces would judge them and dale alluded to. And I'm kind of selfish we won't put individuals back on the tax rolls. We want to Nabil the live here work here raise their families and be productive and that's how you deter cry. If all of us one of the toll this the reason why we don't get in trouble because we have a hell of a lot to lose and we have to get our individuals in front of us. That same steadfast purpose. You know working in America and their families because once you're recovering and doing well another part of a drug what did you you have to look for gains or employment. We want them to be an active from productive part of markets and fire community. And once they are they receive and all of us money and they're contributing to that tax rolls and keep all of us in a better situation. Judge on the day OEU is optimistic as judge Hannah. Yes it energy and I am like a similar supervisors are look at stats and look at numbers here and I. I know that we were losing people in our court. At a rate of about three per month. I think with our opiate intervention quirk we have lost two people over a year. And those were result of them already hitting their case is dismissed leaving our court. And are here being any. Ties to our court and they were able to our. I'll go out and chose to use again and killed themselves.