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Otter Tail County DUI court chosen to attend selective national training

Upon completion of a competitive application review and selection process, Otter Tail County's DUI Court team members were accepted to attend and actively participate in training sponsored by the National Center for DWI Courts (NCDC). Members of ...

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Scott Wagner, Tria Mann, Judge Kevin Miller, Dana McClaflin, Hallie Metclalf, Justin Doucett (new to the department) and Wade Erickson. Courtesy photo.
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Upon completion of a competitive application review and selection process, Otter Tail County's DUI Court team members were accepted to attend and actively participate in training sponsored by the National Center for DWI Courts (NCDC). Members of the OTC team attended the training Sept. 11-14 in Duluth.

Today, there are increasing demands for community-based alternatives to incarceration while at the same time public resources are shrinking. Training is ever more vital to improve existing programs, institute best practices and build teams that recognize and work through the challenges presented to the profession. All new hires to Treatment Courts complete a formal training. Research, by the National Association of Drug Court Professionals, has shown that such comprehensive training reduces participant recidivism by 54 percent while program costs decrease seven percent.

"When team members can get away from their offices and daily work routines and concentrate on training, this helps not only on increasing their own knowledge, but it increases team cohesiveness and communication." Stated Tria Mann, DWI Court Coordinator, "I appreciate our partners being willing and able to take the time away and focus on the DWI Court program."

The Otter Tail County DWI Court began in 2008 and three of the current team members are still with the program: Coordinator, Probation Officer and Chemical Dependency Assessor. In November 2018, a new Judge, Kevin Miller, will transition into the lead DWI Court Judge. Over the last three years new Prosecuting Attorneys, Law Enforcement Officers, a Surveillance Officer, and a Department of Corrections Agent have joined the DUI Court team.

The mission of NCDC is to provide training and assistance for implementing new DWI court programs and improving existing programs. The key issues addressed in the training included: the development of team building; the identification, referral, screening, assessment and admission process; treatment, supervision and drug testing protocols for each phase and court responses to client behavior through development of incentives and sanctions.

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For more information about Otter Tail County's DUI Court visit: " target="_blank">www.co.ottertail.mn.us/463/DWI-Court-Program

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