In 1996, when there were only five drug courts in the state, the drug court judges and other team members established the Oregon Association of Drug Court Professionals (OADCP). The two primary purposes of the Association are: (1) promote and advocate for the establishment and sustainability of drug treatment courts in Oregon; and (2) provide technical assistance and support to its members.
In 2000, the Oregon Judicial Department, working with OADCP, secured a Department of Justice Statewide Enhancement Grant to create a data collection system. Using this grant to leverage state resources, in April 2003, the Judicial Department launched the Oregon Drug Court Management System, since renamed as the Oregon Treatment Court Management System (OTCMS). The OTCMS serves the drug courts as both a case management and data depository tool.
In 2004, Oregon Supreme Court Justice Wallace P. Carson, Jr. established the Chief Justice’s Treatment Court Advisory Committee (TCAC). TCAC was composed of judges, court staff, members of the Oregon State Bar, and Department of Human Services (DHS) representatives. In 2005, the TCAC worked with the Oregon Criminal Justice Commission (CJC) to develop statewide Drug Court Performance Measures.
In 2005 Oregon Legislature authorized a $2.5 million grant program, administered by CJC, to implement and enhance drug courts. An additional 11 drug court grants were issued by the Criminal Justice Services Division (CJSD) using the Byrne Memorial Grant Fund. These grants were issued July 2006 and funded 20 state drug courts. In 2009, Oregon received just over $10 million in American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funds through 2013 for existing drug courts as well as newly implementing drug courts focused on treating an expanded population of offenders, specifically substance-dependent or substance-abusing property offenders. In addition, the CJC received $6 million in general drug court grants (which used to be all state funds, but now a mix of funds) for 2009 through 2011 and $2 million in Justice Assistance Grants (JAG) grants from 2009 to 2011 for stabilizing drug courts that were losing funding in 2009.
As of 2010, there were 57 drug courts in Oregon, with many counties running two or more programs (i.e., adult criminal, juvenile, family/dependency, DUII, or mental health). There are 26 Adult Drug Courts, 14 Juvenile Drug Courts, 11 Family Dependency Treatment Courts, 2 DWI Courts, 2 Adult Hybrid Drug Court (DWI), and 2 Federal Reentry Drug Courts. Counties that do not have drug courts are in rural areas with small populations.
Oregon drug courts are among the most thoroughly evaluated programs in the country. One of the major reasons for this is that NPC Research, which specializes in drug court research and evaluation, is based in Portland, Oregon.
In the fall of 2009, there were major state budget cuts statewide that impacted many drug courts and, ultimately, impacted OADCP’s ability to effectively operate. In particular, travel restrictions significantly limited many OADCP members ability to participate, especially OJD staff. The OADCP minutes from 4/30/10 stated, “Travel Restrictions – Attendance to Association meetings has been low due to budgetary restrictions and the Association not on an approved OJD travel list.” In response to those minutes being emailed out to the Association’s members, State Trial Court Administrator Kingsley Click clarified, via email to the Association, that the OADCP was, in fact, on the approved OJD list for participation and travel. However, local jurisdictions may limit travel due to employee coverage issues and local budget resources may prohibit mileage reimbursement, especially for those in outlying areas.
OADCP struggled to continue its advocacy efforts even with reduced member attendance at its meetings. Various technologies were utilized to keep members involved such as video conferencing, GoTo meetings, etc.
At the 4/30/2010 Executive/General meeting it was moved, seconded and approved to move the annual meeting/election of officers to coincide with the Statewide Training in Bend on September 2010. The following slate of officers was presented and nominations will be accepted until 8/15/10:
President – Judge Horner
Vice Pres – Judge Bunch
Secretary – Blanca Ruckert
Treasurer – Joe Garcia
Past Pres – Judge Holcomb
Minutes reflect “With the declining attendance due to budgetary constraints and the structure of the Association in having 15 members on the Board it has been difficult to conduct Association business without a quorum. Tom McKee moved to form a subcommittee to review the amendment of Bylaws to allow the restructuring of the Board to address this issue and to have nominations open until August 15 for consideration at the Annual meeting in September. David Clark seconded and motion carried. A subcommittee consisting of Judge Horner, Judge Bunch, Tom McKee and Blanca Ruckert will work on amending the Bylaws.”
At 7/23/10 Exec and general meeting attendance was minimal. Total attendance was nine which included 4 general members plus executive committee. No new nominations were received and
On 9/16/10 there was a general meeting at 4:30 with the option for members to join in via teleconferencing. There was an election of officers with prior ballots sent out and a subcommittee report on Review of the Bylaws (where one of the major changes was reducing the number of representatives from 8 specific disciplines to 3 at large representatives to facilitate attendance at meetings). At that meeting the following were elected.
- President: Judge William Horner (Polk Co.)
- Vice President: Judge Dan Bunch (Klamath Co.)
- Secretary: Blanca Ruckert
- Treasurer: Joe Garcia
- Coordinator: Tom McKee
- Past President: Judge Janet S. Holcomb (Benton Co.)
On 9/19/10 newly elected president, Judge Horner sent out an email to the current OADCP membership list advising them that membership dues were suspended due to budgetary climate. He invited all interested parties to submit the names and addresses of those who wished to continue to be involved. We had over 152 individual names submitted.
Executive committee tried to meet on 12/9/11 but was unable to get a quorum. It finally met on 1/6/12 trying to re-vitalize the organization and called for another general meeting on 4/6/12. At the April general meeting, membership attendance was nil in person and minimal via teleconferencing. It was concluded that OADCP regional or quarterly meetings be suspended unless there was compelling reason to meet. However, it was agreed that OADCP should continue to act as a conduit to advocate and provide technical assistance and/or information as needed electronically to its member list.
The OADCP has been active in the last few years with well attended regular meetings. The story continues and the recent history will be added to this section soon.