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Publications

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Tonawanda Drug Treatment Court Program Evaluation and Enhancement (2014)

The Tonawanda Drug Treatment Court (TDTC) was created from a multi-jurisdictional implementation grant initiated in 1997 by the Honorable Judge Mark Violante of Niagara Falls and the Honorable Judge Joseph Cassata of the City of Tonawanda. Though the original intent of the program was to address inadequacies with case processing between the City of Tonawanda and Niagara Falls, the program quickly became a successful rehabilitative passageway for community members who needed a second chance to rebuild their lives. The members of the TDTC team have continued to provide a consistent and positive support system, helping its participants to become drug-free, productive, and inspiring members of the community. Click here to download the study.

Crossroads Youth Court Evaluation (2013)

Created in 2009, the Crossroads program addresses the unique needs and challenges of treating youth offenders in the Criminal Justice System (CJS). Utilizing a collaborative approach between Judge James McLeod, the Buffalo City Courts, the Buffalo Public Schools, and the Helping Empower At Risk Teens (H.E.A.R.T) Foundation, the program's aim is to break the cycle between criminality and re-arrest rates by providing a therapeutic environment, structured case management, education assistance, and community supervision with immediate resources available directly in the court room. Click here to download the study.

Buffalo Veterans Treatment Court Evaluation (2012)

With an estimated veteran population of 21.9 million1 in the United States, and increasing numbers of service members returning from deployment in Afghanistan and Iraq, recognizing the need for veteran’s services is more important than ever. Returning veterans often face serious challenges that can result in alcohol and substance abuse, mental health issues, homelessness, unemployment, and strained relationships. Often times these issues go unaddressed and veterans end up entangled in the Criminal Justice System (CJS). Click here to download the study.

Lackawanna Co-Occurring Disorders Evaluation (2011)

The Center for Substance Abuse and Treatment (2005) defines co-occurring, or dual diagnosis as persons that have a substance abuse disorder and a concurrent axis I or II mental heath diagnosis that exist independently of each other. Each illness has symptoms that interfere with a person’s ability to function effectively and each/both may affect a person physically, socially, psychologically, and spiritually. The illnesses may affect each other, and each disorder predisposes individuals to relapse in the other disease. At times the symptoms can overlap and even mask each other, making treatment and diagnosis difficult. Click here to download the study.

Amherst Co-Occurring Disorders Evaluation (2011)

It is indisputable that an increasing number of participants with co-occurring substance abuse and mental health disorders are entering the criminal justice system (CJS) every year. According to the U.S. Department of Justice, approximately 74% of state prisoners and 76% of local jail inmates who had a mental health problem also met criteria for substance dependence or abuse (James, D. & Glaze L.: U.S. BJS, 2006). This trend poses a growing social problem that burdens both the criminal justice system and the public mental health system due to increasingly high costs of incarceration and the difficult nature of treating and rehabilitating this particular population. Click here to download the study.

Buffalo Mental Health Collaboration Evaluation (2010)

The creation of a Promising Practices Program as a result of this grant was a tremendous positive step forward towards creating the necessary linkages to reduce criminalization of the mentally ill. The challenge in dealing with this issue is that the problem is systemic and multifaceted, incorporating several governmental and private agencies, with each one operating independently. The Promising Practices Program has taken the first steps in instituting a framework to weave these entities together in an attempt to create a network for proper diversion of mentally ill and addicted offenders. Click here to download the study.

Buffalo DWI Evaluation (2008)

Drunk driving is considered the most deadly crime in America by criminal justice authorities as 43 percent of U.S. traffic fatalities occur due to impaired driving. Consequently, impaired driving poses a formidable threat to public safety. Over one-third (1/3) of those arrested for drunk driving are repeat offenders. It is apparent that arrest alone does not deter continued alcohol use or driving under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs. The New York State Unified Court System’s 8th Judicial District, encompasses eight counties in Western New York (Allegany, Cattaraugus, Chautauqua, Erie, Genesee, Niagara, Orleans and Wyoming. Click here to download the study.

Buffalo Co-Occurring Disorders Evaluation (2007)

A growing number of persons with co-occurring substance abuse and psychiatric disabilities are involved in our local criminal justice system, with an associated number of these individuals appearing in Buffalo City Court. Problem solving courts such as drug courts (established in 1995), domestic violence courts (1998), and mental health courts (2003) have been implemented in Buffalo to go beyond traditional case processing and address the underlying reasons why people are entering the justice system. Through the development of a co-occurring treatment tract within the Buffalo Drug Treatment Court (BDTC), the court developed a means of testing how a drug court can serve as a therapeutic intermediary by placing offenders diagnosed with a co-occurring substance abuse and psychiatric disabilities into a judicially driven treatment alternative. Unfortunately, for many people with dual diagnoses, the criminal justice system became their de facto treatment system. Click here to download the study.

8th Judicial District Re-Entry Program Evaluation (2004)

The 8th Judicial Districts Re-entry Program is not a stand-alone program. The program was implemented by design as a separate track within the participating Drug Court sites. For the purpose of this report the re-entry track that was added by the sites will be referred to as the Re-entry Program and it must be understood that conceptually it is an element integrated within the Drug Court service delivery system within the participating Drug Courts. This is an example of the 8th Judicial Districts drug court system where no specialized tract is operated in isolation but rather is integrated and follows the current policies, procedures and principles of the participating courts. The 8th Judicial Districts re-entry model utilized by the participating courts draws on and applies the lessons learned from the Buffalo and Niagara Falls Drug Courts. The Drug Court Judges responsibilities at both sites were expanded to create a re-entry component (track) within the existing Drug Court. They make two assumptions: individuals are still sent to jail and that they are released back into the community with a further sentence looming, should they fail to follow program guidelines. Click here to download the study.

Erie County Family Treatment Court Evaluation (2003)

New York State’s “war on drugs’ has been waged since the early 1970’s. In 1973 Governor Nelson Rockefeller in response to a burgeoning heroin epidemic announced anti-drug policies that were premised on new law enforcement strategies and strict mandatory sentencing laws. In the last two decades, New York State’s criminal justice system has been confronted with a staggering number of drug cases, the volume of which has risen by over 400% in 20 years. Click here to download the study.

Buffalo Drug Court Evaluation (2001)

New York State’s “war on drugs’ has been waged since the early 1970’s. In 1973 Governor Nelson Rockefeller in response to a burgeoning heroin epidemic announced anti-drug policies that were premised on new law enforcement strategies and strict mandatory sentencing laws. In the last two decades, New York State’s criminal justice system has been confronted with a staggering number of drug cases, the volume of which has risen by over four hundred percent in twenty years. Click here to download the study.