Tulalip Tribal Wellness Court
The Wellness Court specifically targets substance abuse in adult offenders within the Tribal Court system. This Court is a 5-stage program that intervenes in substance addiction and criminal behavior by providing an environment of both intense accountability and encouragement by the judge, prosecuting attorney, defense counsel, probation, police officer, treatment, and mental health counselors, education, and employment specialists.
This court-centered treatment program works with tribal resource agencies and community members to provide sanctions and incentives that address the participant's mental, physical, spiritual, and emotional needs. The participants will work their way through the five program phases that are described in the Wellness Court policies. Recognizing that each person is unique, the Wellness Court team has set policies with flexibility in order to assess each person's unique needs. The team makes decisions based on group consensus.
Participants enter the program through the criminal court system. Eligible participants must have a criminal charge which involved substance abuse, either as an element of the offense, or as a contributing factor to the commission of the offense. The offense must have a maximum penalty (or combined penalty if there are multiple counts or offenses) of 100 days, must not be a felony level (violent offenses), violent offenses involving serious bodily injury, and must not be offenses involving sexual misconduct.
Participants must be willing to participate by entering into either a deferred prosecution, or deferred sentencing agreement, and must have accepted responsibility for the criminal offense that brought them to court. The prosecuting attorney and the defense attorney will assure an order is entered transferring the criminal matter to the Wellness Court. Once a case is referred to the Wellness Court, the Tulalip Probation Officer will complete a request for a criminal history background check. The client will be invited to observe the next scheduled Wellness Court Hearing which are held every Thursday at 1 p.m.
Moral Reconation Therapy
MRT is a systematic, step-by-step treatment strategy designed to enhance self-image, promote growth of a positive, productive identity and facilitate the development of higher stages of moral reasoning levels, and life purpose.
- Stage One - Formation & Orientation
- Stage 2 - Conflict, Power & Rebellion
- tage 3 - Cohesiveness
- Stage 4 - Continuation & Staleness
(MRT Group Sessions, Wednesdays, 5 to 6 p.m. Tulalip Tribal Court).
2009 Court Annual Report
The Wellness Court continues to operate and meet one time per week to staff cases. In 2009, the Court graduated 1 person from Wellness Court for a total of 11 people in 3 years. In the first quarter of 2009, the Wellness Court had a retreat and reviewed the effect of the program. Wellness Court began in June of 2006. Between June of 2006 and the December of 2009, the Wellness Court accepted 35 clients. 11 have successfully graduated, 4 are currently in Wellness Court and the remaining were dismissed because of their substantial non-compliance or refusal to comply with Wellness Court rules. Interestingly, of those dismissed clients, the majority still have not had new criminal charges filed and most have been in or completed treatment and/or are employed. The Wellness Court clients were sentenced to 13,623 jail days but regardless of their successful completion they only did a total of 3,505 days collectively for a savings of over 10,000 jail days.