Judge Elayne Storrs of the Carbon County and Wellington City justice courts recently completed the co-occurring mental and substance abuse disorders course at The National Judicial College.
Judge Storrs was granted a scholarship from the NJC for the course, and completed it with the main goal of learning how to focus on the underlying behaviors of criminal defendants.
"Addiction and other mental health issues are treatable and the judiciary can have a profound impact. Since 68 percent of treatment referrals come from the criminal justice system, it may represent the best opportunity (addicts) will ever have to confront and overcome their use and criminal behavior," stated Judge Storrs.
The issues in many criminal cases involve alcohol and other drug addictions. Some persons with alcohol and other drug addictions also suffer from major mental health disorders indicated the college.
Judges who handle such cases should have a thorough understanding of substance abuse, mental health and co-occurring disorders issues as they affect the justice system, pointed out the college.
After taking the course, participants are able to describe the physiological and pharmacological aspects of substance abuse; identify and assess individuals with major mental disorders; select appropriate judicial strategies and tools for treatment and monitoring and design a plan for implementation of systems or ideas to address co-occurring disorders issues.
The National Judicial College provides judicial education and professional development for the nation's judiciary as well as for judges from various other countries.
Located on the University of Nevada at Reno campus, NJC is one of the nation's top judicial training institutions.
Since 1963, the college has awarded more than 70,000 professional judicial education certificates.
The national college was designed to give participants the practical tools needed to effectively serve on the judicial bench. The individual needs of each participant is recognized indicated the college.
NJC offers an average of 90 courses annually with more than 2,700 judges enrolling from all 50 states, U.S. territories and more than 150 countries.
Online courses are also offered through NJC.
The college's curriculum includes a seminar series, made up of courses that provide judges the opportunity to study diverse and interesting topics at historically and culturally rich locations across the United States.