Judge Patricia McNamara
The judge in the Drug Treatment Court monitors the progress of the participants on the programme and provides leadership and motivation to them, while also enforcing and imposing sanctions if necessary. The judge meets with the team each week at a pre-court meeting to discuss each participant’s progress. In the early stages of the programme the participant appears in court every week but this is reduced as s/he progresses through the three separate phases.
At the hearing in open court there is a direct conversation between the judge and the participant. Over time a full picture of the participant becomes apparent to the judge and the team. Through continued interaction between the judge and participant, a relationship develops and it is important that the participants appear as much as possible in front of the same judge. The President of the District Court has appointed two other judges to sit in the DTC to allow for dates when Judge McNamara is unavailable. In this way the essential consistency and continuation of judicial input can be maintained and the energy, interest and skill of these judges can help in the development of all aspects of the court’s work.
Maeve - Drug Treatment Court Coordinator
You can contact me for information about the Drug Treatm Court. You can telephone me or email me and I will answer your questions, explain how the programme works and send you information leaflets.
As the DTC Coordinator I work with the Judge and the team and we meet before court each week to discuss your progress. I help prepare your files for court, I deal with telephone and email enquiries from solicitors, from participants, from other agencies and from the general public.
I organise and attend team meetings and I keep the minutes of these meetings on record. I organise information meetings for new participants. It is important for you to attend one of these meetings as the team will all be there to explain how the Drug Court programme works and we can answer any questions that you may have.
I also organise and attend participants' meetings where the team listen to your views and your suggestions on any improvements that we can make to the programme. I organise and attend all the graduations from the Drug Court. These are very special occasions for the participant and their families and friends.
Fiona - Drug Treatment Court Education Coordinator
I will assess your education and skills levels and see how we might provide or refer you to an appropriate programme to develop skills required for an alternative career path. With the help of the teaching team in Parnell, I will design and develop the education programme to complement your recovery path on the DTC programme. My job is to coordinate this teaching staff and programme. We will support and guide you through the DTC helping you in other areas for example, housing issues, medical card applications etc. If you are already in another project or community programme, or referred there from us, I will monitor your progress there and provide you with support if you need it. I will liaise with the other DTC team members regarding your progress and support. I report to court every Wednesday so the judge and the team will hear how you are engaging, progressing and where bonus points are awarded.
Elaine - Drug Treatment Court Probation Officer
Most probation officers are social workers. Our job is to give the courts information about offenders in the form of probation reports. We can make proposals to the court and then carry out any community sentence of the court. You may have heard of a probation bond or a supervision order.
My job is to help people make positive changes in their lives and to help keep the community safe. You might have heard about ‘living the good life’, a life that keeps you and everybody else safe.
My work in the Drug Court is a little bit different but it’s still about assessment, gathering information for the court and supervision, carrying out the order of the court and supporting you to make positive healthy, pro-social choices.Assessment is about sharing information. It means that I will meet with you to talk about what being on the Drug Court involves and to check in with you if want to make that choice.
If you decide that you want to make this change, we will meet again to look at what is going on for you now, what life was like when you picked up the charge before the court and what are the positive changes that you would like to make for the future.
A written report will go to the court. You will be able to see this first and have a chance to comment on it. You will then be given a probation officer, either me or one closer to your home to work with you.
This is supervision. It means meeting regularly with the probation officer at your local office, or sometimes at your home or at the education centre and working with you to make the changes that you want to make.
Linda - Drug Treatment Court Liaison Nurse
I am involved in all of the clinical aspects of your progress from the time of initial assessment right through the three phases of the DTC programme to graduation.
I will meet with you within two weeks of your referral. We will talk about your drug use, any medical issues you may have, what medication you take, any drug treatment you have had in the past, or are currently attending. This information builds a picture of your individual addiction story, what you have tried to do, if you have had clean time and what areas you need help with. We will also look at your motivation to change.
After your assessment I will write up an individual treatment plan for you, which will include if you are on treatment, your urinalysis regime and counselling information. This plan is drawn up with help from your doctor or clinical team. Once you sign this in court, it becomes part of your bail bond, and it will be reviewed regularly. You are involved in this plan.
I liaise with anyone that you see from a treatment point of view but also housing, social workers, counsellors, community drug projects, etc., anyone you are in contact with. The consent form you sign allows this communication to happen, in order to help you, share information and ensure that our plan for you is holistic and takes in all areas of your life that you need help with.
It is my job to inform the court about treatment options, interpret urines, and be a source of information and expertise on all aspects of treatment and medical issues.
I will provide reports weekly at the DTC pre-court meetings. I will share urine results and attendance at treatment appointments including counselling with the team
I will attend personal progression plan meetings which we do every 6-8 weeks with you, to look at goals and discuss your progress
If you need extra support or we need to discuss something to do with your treatment plan, I can meet with you individually by appointment
I attend meetings, other drug projects, clinics, etc. to talk about the DTC, to ensure we keep up our public profile and other organisations know who we are, to make referrals.
Louise - Drug Treatment Court Registrar
I prepare your files for court and I deal with all the office admin work. I deal with queries from solicitors by phone and by email. I call all the cases in court and give the files to the Judge. If you have an appointment that you need to go to, you can ask me to call your case early.
I result all the cases on our record system after court. By doing this I can keep various statistics from the information gathered in court. I attend information meetings for new participants where we give you lots of information about the Drug Treatment Court. I also attend meetings with the judge and the team on a regular basis.