WAHOO – The report last week on a problem solving approach in the local criminal justice system was good.
District 5 Chief Probation Officer Carrie Rodriguez included problem solving court in her annual report to the Saunders County Supervisors July 23.
Problem solving court is a team effort by the judge and other justice system players to address not only the crime, but the underlying factors in an effort to thwart recidivism.
District Court Judge Christina Marroquin has helped to bring the effort to District 5, including the Saunders County courtroom.
Rodriguez said research shows that if some of the underlying issues to what caused the offense can be addressed, the chance for the person to repeat is lessoned.
The reason she wanted to offer this information with the annual budget request was because there were some special requests tied to the program. The first request didn’t have a fixed budget number applied to it, as it was a space needs item.
Rodriguez said some of problem solving court team members only have cubicle space available to them. That can make it awkward for private discussions.
“It would be nice to have those conservations in a close office, rather than a cubicle,” she said.
Drug Court is another facet of a problem solving court that Marroquin and District 5 would like to implement in the Saunders County District Courtroom.
This type of program would allow for drug offenders to appear in court through digital conferences. Rodriguez said there would be an initial cost to install the technology to allow this to happen, but there would be savings in the long run.
“The goal is to not have as much transportation as there has been and I think that helps everybody,” she added.
Supervisor Dave Lutton said he thought it would possible to work with District 5 and the court on these requests.
The planned date for the launch of Drug Court is January.