Jan 11, 2018

Upcoming Training Opportunities: MAT and Motivational Interviewing

The following training opportunities are sponsored by the San Francisco Superior Court.
MCLE and CAMFT continuing education credits available. Training sessions are free of cost; no RSVP required.

Medication Assisted Treatment for Substance Use Disorders

Thursday, February 8, 12:15-1:30PM

“Medication assisted treatment (MAT) is the use of medications in combination with counseling and behavioral therapies for the treatment of substance use disorders. A combination of medication and behavioral therapies is effective in the treatment of substance use disorders, and can help some people to sustain recovery.” (SAMHSA)

Dr. Hannah Snyder is a clinical fellow of primary care addiction medicine at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF). She practices as a primary care physician, hospitalist, and addiction medicine consultant at Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital. She is the project leader for SHOUT, an initiative of UCSF and the California Health Care Foundation, which supports medication-based treatment of opioid use disorders at hospitals across the state.

Training Goals

  • Impact of substance use on brain function and healing process
  • New developments in medication assisted treatment (MAT) for substance use disorders
  • Strategies to engage patients/clients in treatment and effective responses to relapse and overdose

Judicial Council of California
Milton Marks Auditorium, Lower Level
350 McAllister Street
San Francisco, CA 94102

An Introduction to Motivational Interviewing

Friday, March 9, 2:30-4:30PM

Motivational Interviewing is a method of communication that aims to enhance the individual’s intrinsic motivation to change by addressing specific behaviors. This is accomplished within an atmosphere of acceptance, patience and compassion.  This training will include demonstrations of role plays and real plays with scenarios related to the collaborative court population that we serve.

Debra Collins is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist who has provided behavioral health support to primary care, hospice, addiction, and school based community agencies throughout the San Francisco Bay Area for 20 years. Debra works at Felton Institute’s Training and Research Division as their Coach, Trainer and Consulting Educator. Debra has consulted, or provided training(s) for such organizations as : Kaiser Psychiatry, Children’s Hospital of Oakland, Marin General Hospital, County of San Mateo – Adult Division DPH, SF Health Network – San Francisco Department of Public Health Youth/Families and Adult Divisions, YMCA Urban Services, California Pacific Medical Center (Pediatric Oncology/Hematology) and Novato Youth Center, Services for Addiction Recovery – Family Service Agency of Marin.  She is a member of the  Motivational Interviewing Network of Trainers (MINT).

Training Goals

  • Learn how to enhance engagement and to listen with understanding. 
  • Learn how to minimize participant resistance by increasing communication.
  • Learn how to elicit “change talk” and to set into motion a participant’s potential for
  • behavior change.

Judicial Council of California
Milton Marks Auditorium, Lower Level
350 McAllister Street
San Francisco, CA 94102

Dec 19, 2017

BBC: Young Adult Court featured on BBC's "Neurolaw and Order" podcast

"This is a courtroom here in downtown San Francisco. A judge presides over a room bustling with young offenders, attorneys, probation officers, and case managers. But this is no ordinary courtroom. This one has been inspired by recent advancements in neuroscience."

The San Francisco Young Adult Court was featured on the BBC World Service series "The Documentary." In "Neurolaw and Order," Owen Jones, professor of law and biology at Vanderbilt University, explores how brain development heightens risk taking among adolescents and young adults, sometimes leading to criminal activity, as well as ways the criminal justice system is adapting to advancements in neuroscience by offering alternatives to young people facing criminal charges.

Podcast description (BBC): "The latest findings in neuroscience are increasingly affecting the justice system in America. Owen Jones, professor of law and biology at Vanderbilt University, explores where neurolaw is making its mark and where the discipline is heading. One significant finding from MRI scanners is that the adolescent brain continues to develop right into the early- and mid-twenties. The fact that we are not ‘adults’ at age 18 is having big repercussions in the legal system. In San Francisco, the entire way that young offenders of crimes such as armed robbery up to the age of 25 are treated is adapting to the brain data. More and more, neuroscientists are testifying in courts, often to mitigate sentences including the death penalty in juveniles. Other times, they highlight rare brain abnormalities that cause violent and antisocial behaviour, which helps justify a lighter sentence. However, young brains are still malleable. In Wisconsin, brain imaging of juvenile prisoners can detect psychopathic markers. Once identified, staff can employ techniques to de-programme those antisocial traits and rehabilitate prisoners to ready them for, they hope, a crime-free life outside. And this is simply the first generation of neurolaw – where to next?

Click here to listen to "Neurolaw and Order."

Nov 16, 2017

Veterans Justice Court in the news!

Thirty-three graduates were honored at the San Francisco Veterans Justice Court's annual celebration, which took place on November 8, 2017 to commemorate Veterans Day. The event was highlighted in an article published by SFGate and another report published by ABC 7 News.

One of the graduates honored that day was San Francisco resident and VJC graduate Clarence Cook, Sr. Mr. Cook faced 25 years in prison, but instead enrolled in VJC and is now about to celebrate a year of sobriety.

"The only thing that saved me was this lady,” [Mr. Cook] said, referring to his case manager, Jenna Ferrara. “Got me in veterans court. Best thing that ever happened to me.”

"Judge Jeffrey S. Ross jokes with graduate Clarence Cooks with fellow veteran and graduate Andrew Cross at the celebration held at the Hall of Justice on Wednesday, Nov. 8, 2017 in San Francisco, CA." / Photo: Paul Kuroda, Special to The Chronicle

"Special SF court gives military veterans a 2nd chance" (SFGate)
"Criminal court program gives veterans 'a second chance'" (ABC 7 News)

Jun 2, 2017

OC Register: "Is there a link between neighborhood rehab programs and petty crime in California?"

People should be more concerned about liquor stores in their neighborhoods than drug treatment centers... [D]rug treatment centers do not impact communities any more than other commercial businesses."

The Orange County Register published an article this week on the rise of petty crime since the passage of Prop. 47 in November 2014 and possible links to the increase in drug treatment centers. The article describes the complexity of making this connection, including the lack of available data. According to Roxi Fyad, spokesperson for the Costa Mesa Police Department, “There is no statistical crime data gathered that traces back a crime to a sober living facility to show how these facilities impact crime.” 

Additionally, , promised prevention services to mitigate the effects of Prop. 47 never came through. As stated by Bernard Parks, the former Los Angeles police chief and city councilman, “They’ve been talking about all of these preventive programs that were going to be funded on the savings of all the money out of the state prison system. Find one dollar retrieved from the state prison system and invested in one of these preventive programs. It’s been a farce from the beginning.”