Here you are, thinking about the possibility of starting a Local Fund Committee under the care of the CCJC Foundation and there is one major question that needs to be answered before you proceed…what will be expected of me if one of these committees is working on behalf of my collaborative court(s)?
Answer: If you are willing,
- Secure the backing of your collaborative court team for having a local fund committee.
- Identify and suggest people who appreciate the difference collaborative courts are able to make in people’s lives with the disease of addiction and would enjoy being on a Local Fund Committee. Here is a place to start for identifying those people.
- Direct your collaborative court participants to your Local Fund Committee to request assistance. There will be an application form to complete and your signature may be needed to verify the participant’s need.
Serving on your Local Fund Committee is completely optional.
Judge Dave Nelson has worked with the Mendocino County Friends of Drug Court fund since it began in 2006. Here is how he describes that experience:
Our local organization, the Friends of Drug Court (FDC), provides another tool in the tool kit we use to help the participants in our drug courts achieve success. The grants provided by the FDC to help clients are not incentives as such, and are not handed out by the drug court judges. But they are an integral part of a system of rewards and encouragement that helps people overcome barriers and change their negative self -image. So many of the recipients are awed by the fact that the drug court community cares about them enough to provide help with clothes for kids, car maintenance or college books. They slowly accept the fact that they have value because others value them in spite of their record of substance abuse and crime. The referrals to FDC come from the treatment staff, probation and the court drug court staff. The judge is also aware of the opportunity and often reminds the participants of the availability of the grants. The FDC is a non-profit that functions separately from the court process but it exists to support the drug courts — the FDC Advisory Board has historically included a judge and a therapeutic courts administrator to foster cooperation between the two entities. The FDC has been successful in enriching the drug court experience and increasing the chances that participants will succeed in drug court and life.