26 Oct District Court Judge candidates answer frequently asked questions — Neuse News
Programs like the Guardian ad Litem program and the Drug Treatment Court have helped reduce offender recidivism. What role will these programs have in your court?
Gregory Rouse says…
Those are two great programs that we have here in this district that we are actually, quite frankly, very blessed to have and very fortunate to have. Those things will play a role in my courts, especially with Guardian ad Litem that’s with the children’s Advocate. The drug treatment Court that helps some people struggling with substance use, but I would like to expand upon what we have and make it even better and even bigger, because I would like to start a program like a drug court.
Drug court does work, but I like to expand upon what we have and go forward and make it better by increasing the number of drug courts that we have and the number of crimes and offenses that can go through the drug court. There are some things that can and some things that cannot but I would like be involved in that because if we can treat these issues that will help reduce our recidivism because if people cannot get working help and get over these are the struggles that they have drug use we can really move our community forward.
That’s where your mindset is. I have a lot of good ideas and programs that I want to start here in our district because I think it’s very important that we are a forward moving district. I would also like to a fatherhood program. I’d like to start a private program here. It’s done through or in conjunction with child support for people struggling to pay their money. So, right now people often find themselves incarcerated for child support, but if we can help people with that and start this program that can also get the overcrowding of jails. Another thing we see a lot is a lot of times people who have driver’s license that are in a state of suspension, we have a lot of people getting charged with driving while license revoked or no operator’s license and other districts do programs like a driver’s license restoration project and that’s something I would like to start here in our district.
We are a rural District. We don’t have a lot of public transportation. We don’t have a lot of Uber and Lyft here to help people get from point A to point B, but if we can start this program to help people get back driving and driving legally. I think that’ll help a lot of people. Without a little help, a lot of people who end up in that they won’t have to be spending their money in court costs and fines. If we can get them the driver’s license back and get them back on the road, legally. I think that’s a good idea, and I definitely think it’s something we should start.
Annette Turik says…
The guardian ad litem program actually comes into play in juvenile court and the guardian ad litem program where the child has been removed from either parent or a petition has been filed for the family to be in court for some abuse or neglect issue. The guardian ad litem is a voice for the child. And they are there. Their program role is to be separate from the Department of Social Services, which is the agency that filed the petition and work with the family from the standpoint of looking out for the best interests of the child. The department is not doing that, but is just a separate program that actually is an advocate for the children and those families. They play a vital role in abuse and neglect court because they have volunteers that are assigned cases and they will follow those cases through the court process and visit with the families and visit with the children and make sure that they’re doing well. The parents will follow in their court orders and that the children stay safe. It’s not necessarily from a recidivism standpoint.
Drug Treatment Court is now called Family Accountability and Recovery Court. That court right now is also attached to abuse and neglect in juvenile court. The parents who have substance abuse disorders and or either have lost their children or at risk of losing their children over those substance disorders are referred to that court. It’s a program that they go to and they go every week or every other week. The first 90 days they’re given time to get anything in their system, out of their system. Then they continue to work with the program. It’s a year long. If they graduate and they have next steps, they can do after graduation. But that program has been very successful in helping people with their substance abuse disorders and being able to get their families back intact if their families have been disrupted over their substance abuse. It’s a great program.
Our chief judge is trying very hard to get the funding to have it in other areas of court like criminal court. But right now, the funding is not there. We’re limited sometimes to the programs that we can have because funding is something that you have to try to obtain, and it’s just not always there. It’s a great program and we get people in there and they’re motivated to support a recovery and the court recognizes that. If you stay invested in that person, it helps keep them in there. Hopefully, there are many more success stories like that. But we want them all to be successful.