Map of problem-solving courts across the state. Courtesy image
SANTA FE − Court programs that treat an offender’s addiction or mental illness are receiving $600,000 in new funding in the current fiscal year.
The money was appropriated by the Legislature to the Administrative Office of the Courts to be awarded to problem-solving courts, which include Adult and Juvenile Drug Courts, DWI Drug Courts, Family Dependency Courts and Mental Health Courts.
The money was distributed after a competitive grant process in which applications were submitted by problem-solving courts across the state. The Drug Court Advisory Committee, which is made up of judges, drug court coordinators and other members, evaluated the applications and recommended funding allocations. Those recommendations became final after approval by the state Supreme Court.
Problem-solving courts provide a less expensive alternative to incarceration yet are more effective in reducing the rate at which offenders are rearrested. Judges lead a team of professionals, including treatment providers, prosecutors, public defenders, probation officers, and law enforcement, who provide intensive supervision of repeat offenders with drug and alcohol abuse problems. The year-long programs require extensive group and individual counseling, and hold offenders accountable through frequent drug tests, probation visits and judicial hearings while requiring offenders to also change their behavior by participating in community service, holding a job or renewing their education.
Funding amounts for each court:
1st Judicial District:
- Adult Drug Court, Espanola, $32,688 to expand the number of offenders that can be served, increased drug testing, and individual counseling. Contact: Kim Moore, Program Manager, 505-455-8185.
- Adult Drug Court, Santa Fe, $27,428 for increased drug testing, individual counseling, and exercise sessions. Contact: Kim Moore, Program Manager, 505-455-8185.
2nd Judicial District
- Juvenile Drug Court, Albuquerque, $8,108 for alcohol monitoring bracelets. Contact: Lindsey Lucero, Program Director, 505-841-7611.
3rd Judicial District:
- Adult Drug Court, Las Cruces, $33,750 to expand the number of offenders that can be served, lab testing and alcohol monitoring bracelets. Contact: David Borunda, Program Director, 575-528-8395.
- Family Dependency Court, Las Cruces, $27,000 to expand the number of offenders that can be served, alcohol monitoring devices and lab testing. Contact: David Borunda, Program Director, 575-528-8395.
5th Judicial District:
- Family Dependency Court, Hobbs. $7,600 for treatment services and participant legal assistance. Contact: Azucena Hernandez, Administrative Assistant II, 575-396-8571 ext. 130.
6th Judicial District:
- Adult Drug Court, Silver City. $57,898 for a court probation officer. Contact: Margaret Begay, Program Director, 575‐574‐4035.
7th Judicial District:
- Adult Drug Court, Truth or Consequences, $6,017 for range of services needed by the program, including treatmentservices and drug testing. Contact: Jason Jones, Court Executive Officer, 575-835-0050.
9th Judicial District:
- Adult Drug Court, Clovis, $60,000 for a court probation officer.
Contact: Robin Miller, Program Director, 575-742-7541.
11th Judicial District
- Adult Drug Court, Aztec, $40,500 for case management services.
Contact: Krista Lawrence, Program Director, 505-334-7836.
Bernalillo County Metropolitan Court
- Mental Health Court, Albuquerque, $53,987 to hire a court probation officer. Contact: Jean Klein, Program Director, 505-841-8179.
- Dona Ana County DWI Court, $54,000 for testing, visits to participants’ homes to check on compliance, treatment services and defense counselservices. Contact: Priscilla Quinones, Program Coordinator, 575-524-9278 x1033
- Eddy County DWI Court, Carlsbad, $55,900 to expand the number of offenders who can be served in the program, treatment services, parenting education classes and to hire a surveillance officer to conduct home visit checks of participants. Contact: Leandra Berdoza, Program Coordinator, 575-885-3218.
- San Miguel County DWI Court, $43,007 to help fund the program coordinator, treatment services and home visit checks of participants. Contact: Darlene Romo-Baca, Program Coordinator, 505-426-8193.
- Santa Fe County DWI Court, $40,600 for treatment services and to hire a surveillance officer to conduct home visits to ensure participant compliance. Contact: Tamara Wheeler, Program Coordinator, 505-984-9914 x145.
- Torrance County DWI Court, $16,110 for a surveillanceofficer to make visits to participants’ homesand to contract with public defender to serve on the DWI Court’s team. Contact: Susan Rossignol, DWI Clerk, 505-832-4476.
- Valencia County DWI Court, $42,800 for treatment services, contract with public defender, visits to participants’ homes to check on compliance and electronic monitoring of participants. Contact: Ragon Espinoza, Program Coordinator, 505-660-3369.
Of the $627,700 appropriated to the AOC for problem-solving courts statewide in the current fiscal year, $27,700 is for AOC to provide training for the court programs. Annual budgets of the District, Metro and Magistrate Courts fund staff and other day-to-day operations of local problem-solving courts. The money allocated to AOC supplements the base budget funding.