Monthly Archives: December 2015

‘Hammers Don’t Work’: Alameda County Chief Public Defender Brendon Woods

In this podcast recorded at the Courts,
Community Engagement, and Innovative Practices in a Changing Landscape
 symposium held
in Anaheim in December 2015, Alameda County Chief Public Defender Brendon Woods discusses diversion and
the importance of giving low-level offenders the opportunity to avoid a criminal record.


The following is a transcript

This is Raphael Pope-Sussman with the Center for Court Innovation. This podcast is part of a series of dispatches
from the court’s Community Engagement and Innovative Practices In a Changing Landscape symposium, held in Anaheim
in December 2015. The conference focused on justice reforms, including recent developments in California, Public
Safety Realignment, and Proposition 47.

Public Safety
Realignment refers to changes brought about by 2011 legislation that shifted responsibility for certain populations
of offenders from the state to the county level. Proposition 47, a ballot initiative passed by referendum in 2014,
reclassified certain low-level felonies as misdemeanors. I hope you enjoy listening.

POPE-SUSSMAN: Hi, this is Raphael Pope-Sussman with
the Center for Court Innovation. I’m sitting here with Brendon Woods, Chief Public Defender for Alameda County.
Brendon, thank you for speaking with me today.

: Sure. Thank you.

Can you talk a little bit about how your office works with the DA’s office?

Yeah, I guess it depends on what we’re talking about with regards to working together. We collaborate on many
issues. Probably our biggest one is our Clean Slate Program, where we collaborate together with regards to getting
our clients’ cases reduced to misdemeanors, or getting them dismissed completely off their record.

Another one of our big collaborations was, about a year and a half ago,
two years ago, we started our Veterans Treatment Court. That took a real collaborative effort between the DA, public
defense, and probation, sheriff’s office, and the courts.That’s really a great program we started.

How do you balance those partnerships with the need to obviously represent the interests of your clients?

WOODS: I think always at the forefront and
at the very beginning is a zealous advocacy that never goes away, and that’s always the case. Where we collaborate
is where we can see there will be a benefit for our clients, but a lot of that collaboration takes place every day,
takes place during pre-trial conferences, takes place with regards to resolving cases.

Once we get past that, and we know we’re going to be litigating a case and
trial, it’s all about advocacy. Even with the collaboration it’s all about advocacy. We’re always
putting our clients first.

How do you talk to your clients about opportunities for diversion?

I think that’s great. Any time we have a client where they can hopefully avoid having a criminal conviction
on their record by completing a program, or doing some some sort of diversion, we completely advocate for that, because
once you get that conviction on your record it turns into this horrible cycle. Once you get that conviction with
probation, it turns into a horrible cycle, so if we can get our client some sort of diversion or treatment program,
and they avoid having a felony record, it’s critical.        

At least in Alameda County, probation is in some ways, I don’t like
to call it this, but a real set up, because once you go down that path, once you’re on probation, you don’t
have the same rights you do as if you weren’t. You have the search clauses. You don’t have the right to
a trial when you violate. It’s just such a terrible downfall, so we really try to avoid that if we can, especially
with a diversion opportunity.

Are there situations where there are options for maybe a low-level diversion as opposed to a few days in jail, where
you might be concerned that the diversion opportunity is going to maybe be more onerous than the alternative, or
that the alternative might be just that they’re going to just let your client off entirely?  

WOODS: No, there aren’t many diversion
programs where I would say I’m concerned about that, but if there’s a diversion program and they’re
talking about some sort of considerable amount of jail time if my client fails a diversion program then I’m
not going to agree to that. That’s a problem. We’ve got to stop going towards that model where if a client
does not complete this program they will be hammered. Hammers don’t work, especially now in the criminal justice
system. They just don’t work.

Do you think a lot of that comes from public fear?

It’s public fear, and it’s the old school way of thinking, and we’ve got to stop thinking that way.
It’s all about rehabilitation and incentives, as opposed to hammers.

Where do public defenders fit into this national conversation about justice reform?

WOODS: I think it’s incumbent upon us as public
defenders to direct and drive the conversation, because we’re the ones who are advocating and representing our
clients. We should be the loudest voice at the table.

Have you seen particular changes after Prop 47 in California? How has it changed the way your office works, and the
kinds of outcomes you’re seeing for your clients?

Primarily with my office, we do a lot of focus on Prop 47 with regards to the record remedies, and getting our clients
into court, getting their cases reduced to misdemeanors, and getting them dismissed. That’s the biggest spoke
that we focus on right now. A lot of people talk about Prop 47, and it’s going to add to the increasing crime,
or putting all these dangerous criminals out, and that’s just not the case.

not the case at all. I haven’t seen any evidence of that. We’re talking about low-level offenders who have
drug possession being treated as misdemeanors, and then low-level theft offenses. That population should never have
seen a prison in the first place.   

This is Raphael Pope-Sussman of the Center for Court Innovation, and I’ve been speaking with Brendon D. Woods,
Chief Public Defender for Alameda County. For more information on the Center for Court Innovation, visit

The Neuroscience of Addiction and Pharmacological Treatment

At Reinvesting in
, Dr. Bryon Adinoff, Distinguished Professor of Drug and Alcohol Abuse Research
at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center and the Director of Research in Mental
Health at the VA North Texas Health Care System, talks about the latest research on addiction and pharmacological
or medication-assisted treatment, as well as how they can impact the criminal justice system.


The following is a transcript

AVNI MAJITHIA-SEJPAL: Hello, and welcome to the New Thinking Podcast. This
is MAJITHIA-SEJPALejpal. Today, we are at Reinvesting in Justice at the Dallas City Hall,l where I’m in conversation
with Dr. Bryon Adinoff, the Distinguished Professor of Drug and Alcohol Abuse at the University of Texas Southwestern
Medical Center and the director of research in mental health at the V.A. North Texas Healthcare System.

Dr. Adinoff, thanks for taking the time to speak with me.

BRYON ADINOFF: Good to be here.

You just gave a very interesting talk about the neuroscience of addiction. For the benefit of our listeners at home,
can you walk us through the highlights?

key thing about the neuroscience of addiction, it is a brain disease. It’s a chronic medical illness just like
other medical illnesses whether it’s cardiovascular disease or pulmonary disease or epilepsy or schizophrenia
or bipolar disease. There are many similar characteristics in that it’s due to both specific genes that put
you at risk, environments that put you at risk and in the case of substances of course, the use of substances often
for a long time that develop the brain disease.

More and more it seems that prosecutors and courts are seeking to link defendants with substance abuse issues to
treatment programs. What is the latest research telling us? What do we know now about the addicted brain?

ADINOFF: It appears that what happens over time in the addicted brain is
that the whole even though the drugs may be hitting particular parts of the brain involved in pleasure and reward,
the whole brain becomes hijacked by this reward system. So that all of the parts of the brain particularly the prefrontal
cortex that’s involved in who we are, the way we plan things, the way we think about things. This part of the
brain is hijacked by the reward system. We see many differences in people with addiction in their brain. We can certainly
tell that, for instance, the brain is far more reactive to certain cues that remind them about using. That there’s
memories of use of things that they associate with using, whether it’s a bottle of beer or a cocaine pipe or
joint that become hardwired into the brain of people with addiction. It can be very difficult to put these memories
away or make them quiet.

We found networks that work
in the brain. All of our brains, we have networks of brain regions that talk to one another and that there’s
impairments, for instance, in these networks in the addicted brain. For instance the brain areas just at rest called
the default mode network. These brain regions are active when we’re not doing anything, we’re just lying
there thinking. This activity in people with addiction in this default mode network appear to be hyperactive. Maybe
there’s a loop of craving that they’re not even aware of that is hyper-activated in addicts. Maybe they’re
scanning the environment without even thinking about it for addiction-related cues.

MAJITHIA-SEJPAL: You mentioned in your talk pharmacological treatment? One buzzword
seems to be medication-assisted treatment. Are those two the same things?

They are the same thing. I prefer not to use the term medication-assisted. We do not talk about insulin being medication-assisted
treatment for diabetes even though the diabetic in addition to taking insulin needs to be watching their diet and
exercise and also some other things, losing weight but they’re all essential parts of treatment. Schizophrenia
we don’t talk about medication-assisted treatment when they’re taking anti-psychotic. I think in the same
way, for addiction disorders, we have medications that’s very useful. We have talk therapies that are very useful.
We have 12-step support groups that are very useful. They’re all important treatments or interventions.

It can be very successfully used in the treatment of addiction. The pharmacologic
approaches are medications that are helpful for the treatment of addiction.

Can you expand on pharmacological treatments?

There are many different good medications now for addictive disorders. For opiate disorders when opiates are drugs
like heroin or Percocet or codeine, Oxycontin, Vicodin. These substances all hit opiate receptors in the brain. There’s
two major pharmacologic approaches. One is to use what’s called an opiate agonist, where it replaces the effects
of these other drugs on the brain. So instead of taking heroin in you would take methadone or suboxone or buprenorphine.
What these medications do, they’re also opiates and they hit the opiate receptor in the same way, that say,
heroin might that replaces it, so the brain is no longer crying out demanding that it gets heroin. It’s been
satisfied or satiated with this other opiate agonist like suboxone or methadone.

though they’re opiates and if you stop them suddenly you’d have withdrawal symptoms. They’re legal.
They take them once a day and they last for the full day and they take them by mouth so they can actually go on and
function with regular life so they don’t get in trouble with the law. They’re not using needles. There’s
doctors I know who are on suboxone. There’s a wide range of people that do very well on these medications.

Another approach is blocking the opiate receptors and there’s a shot
called Vivitrol and it has a drug in it called naltrexone that blocks these receptors for a month. Once you get that
shot you no longer can use. If you use, say heroin, you won’t get high. You’re throwing your money down
the drain and it’s all that work to get the heroin for nothing. What that month does, it seems to get people
the opportunity then to do their treatments so they have a whole month ahead of them for that treatment to kick in,
and then they just have to make a commitment once a month to get that shot.

alcohol, we have several other medications that hit different brain receptors or brain neurons that people that take
these medications do better than people that take a placebo or don’t take a medication at all.

MAJITHIA-SEJPAL: You would say that these are effective?

ADINOFF: They are. There’s substantial literature on these medications.
They’re not cure-alls. They’re not magic pills. We certainly always recommend that somebody taking these
medications get their other therapy as well, but they do help.

As someone who has done such extensive research on the subject, how do you address skepticism of pharmacological
treatment that suggests that it merely replaces one drug for another?

Well, in the case of the opiate agonist I mentioned like methadone and buprenorphine, they’re opiate replacement
therapy. They do in fact replace one drug with another. The difference is you’re not getting high and that all
the symptoms of addiction, the craving, the lost control, the consequences of use, the compulsive use, all those
things if you take it every day as prescribed, they go away. So you don’t have all the symptoms that make up
an addiction. They work. I understand the philosophy of not wanting to replace one drug with another but in this
position my goal is to help people get better. Other medications like I mentioned, the Vivitrol, are just medications.
They don’t replace the drug in the sense that we usually think about it. All other diseases that we think of,
we use medications. It’s not all we use but most diseases they’re physiologic illnesses and we use medications
with great success. Addictions are just another disease. They’re chronic. They’re marked by relapse. Again,
just like all other chronic diseases, so it makes sense. Again, the biggest thing is people do better on them–and
that’s the ultimate goal.

was an interesting question that came up from an audience member in your talk about affordability and I was wondering
whether you could talk about that a little bit. How accessible is pharmacological treatment to the average person?

ADINOFF: It’s a great question and it certainly one concern in the
addiction field as well as all other fields, whether it’s chemotherapy or medication for schizophrenia or depression.
The newer drugs are always way more expensive. The methadone is very inexpensive. It can be a pain to get. You have
to go to special clinics but that’s been around a long time and it’s not expensive. Vivitrol is a shot
and it is expensive. My understanding is the company that makes Vivitrol has actually given grants or given a lot
of free Vivitrol to people that are in court systems. There’s ways around it. For alcohol dependence, many of
the medications are really old medications and are not that expensive.

you consider how much an addiction, even if you’re drinking, it really adds up very quickly and people put that
money into getting the medication and other treatment–they probably come way out ahead in the long run.

MAJITHIA-SEJPAL: How can some of the research that you’ve been doing
and citing inform and change the way the criminal justice system adjudicates addiction?

ADINOFF: I don’t know that it can change it because I think the reasons for
the drug laws that we presently have are political, social, cultural decisions that people have made and the government
has made. Many of our laws for better or worse are not necessarily based on the science and it can take a long time
for laws on the books to respond to the science. As a emotional issue, even though I believe, and I think many people
now believe, addiction is a brain disease. There’s something about people seemingly voluntarily taking drugs
that is hard for us to really think of as a brain disease. I think that’s changing is more and more people come
out and say, “You know I’ve been addicted.” I think gradually we’re changing but it’s very
slow and not only in the community but in the field of medicine. Doctors are sometimes extremely slow to prescribe
these medications that we were talking about.

will take a while. As I mentioned in my talk in DSM IV–DSM is our psychiatric bible–legal problems was one of the
ways we use to diagnose a substance disorder order, an addiction. And that was taken out for DSM V because they found
being arrested for a substance use justice disorder had more to do with your race and your economic standing and
your social standing than it did whether you were using or not. It really wasn’t very good at helping you diagnose–it
wouldn’t good at all at helping you diagnose somebody with addiction or not. The laws that we’ve been using
have not been effective in treating people with addiction or in decreasing the amount of use. We’ve certainly spent
a lot of money on this country on the drug war. Again, it was understandable because these drugs can cause a great
deal of harm to people and societies, but they haven’t been effective. So this conference, it’s been great in
trying to look at better ways to approach these problems other than incarcerating people.

MAJITHIA-SEJPAL: That brings us to the end of our conversation. Dr. Adinoff,
thank you so much for taking the time to talk to me.

It’s been my pleasure.

MAJITHIA-SEJPALejpal and you’ve been listening to Dr. Bryon Adinoff about the latest research in the neuroscience
of addiction and what it means for prosecuting drug crimes. To listen to more New Thinking Podcasts or to learn more
about our work, you can visit our website at Thanks for listening.

With an Evidence-based Curriculum, Improving Outcomes for Minority Male Youth

This podcast is part of a series highlighting innovative approaches
to reducing violence and improving health outcomes among at-risk minority youth at the nine demonstration sites of
the Minority
Youth Violence Prevention Initiative
. One of these demonstrations sites is Cabarrus Students Taking
a Right Stand (STARS), a school-based male youth leadership program based in Cabarrus County, North Carolina, that
seeks to create a healthy, positive school community through mentorship and positive role modeling.

Katie Dight and Rolanda Patrick, program managers at Cabarrus STARS,
and Sue Yates, chief financial officer for the Cabarrus Health Alliance, joined this week’s podcast to discuss Cabarrus
STARS’ evidence-based curriculum and program results, and why STARS believes strong male role models are critical
for program participants.



The following is a transcript

POPE-SUSSMAN: Hi. This is Raphael Pope-Sussman of the Center for Court Innovation. This podcast is part of series
we are doing with people seeking to curb violence and improve access to public health for at-risk minority youth
as part of the Minority Youth Violence Prevention Initiative. The Initiative is a partnership of the Office of Minority
Health at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the Office of Community Oriented Policing Services
at the U.S. Department of Justice that encourages collaboration among public health organizations, law enforcement
agencies, and community-based groups. Our podcast series highlights innovative approaches at the nine demonstration
sites that have received funding under the program.

this week’s podcasts, we’re looking at Cabarrus Students Taking a Right Stand or STARS in Cabarrus County,
North Carolina. STARS is a school-based youth leadership program for males aimed at creating a healthy, positive
school community through mentorship and positive role modeling. Key activities for this initiative include youth
development, academic enrichment activities, service learning, tutoring, case management, and in-home parent resources.
Through Cabarrus STARS’ partnership with local law enforcement, the police department’s student resource officers
serve as mentors and assist with youth programming.

focusing this podcast on the specialized curriculum Cabarrus STARS uses with its youth, as well as the program’s
use of a range of evidence-based tools.

Hi. This is Raphael Pope-Sussman of the Center for Court Innovation. In today’s podcast we’re looking at
the Cabarrus STARS, or Students Taking a Right Stand, program in Cabarrus County, North Carolina. Joining us today
are Katie Dight and Rolanda Patrick, program managers at Cabarrus STARS, and Sue Yates, chief financial officer for
the Cabarrus Health Alliance. Katie, Rolanda, and Sue, thank you for speaking with me today and welcome.

ALL: Thank you.

It’s great to have you here. To start out, can you describe how Cabarrus STARS works?

KATIE DIGHT: This is Katie Dight. We are a three-tiered program. We have
tier one, which is systems level training and change within the schools. Tier two, which is our positive youth development
piece of it where we have a group-level intervention. Then tier three, where we have intensive individual services
both for the students, and then a parental engagement piece.

The program partners with four schools. Can you talk me through those partnerships a bit? I know you focus on school
climate and bullying as part of that.

sir. In regards to the four schools that we currently work with, two are located in Kannapolis City, so we actually
work with two different school systems. The first being Kannapolis City and the second being Cabarrus County Schools.
The schools in general are Kannapolis Middle School and A.L. Brown High School, both in Kannapolis, and Concord High
School and Concord Middle School in Cabarrus County. We’re able to work with a minimum of 15 students, 15 to
17 students, at each school for 15 weeks. We begin in September, our first session will end in January. Our second
semester will begin in January and end in May. During that time, we’re able to implement an evidence-based curriculum
called Too Good for Violence at the middle school level and Too Good for Drugs and Violence on the high school level.
At every school, we’re able to work with them for 15 weeks, a minimum of two hours.

Our other partners include our local law enforcement agencies, so that would be
Kannapolis City Police Department, as well as the Cabarrus County Police Department. We also have partnerships with
the Youth Educational Services Society in Charlotte. They actually serve as our facilitators for our program. We
also have a facilitator that comes from the Boys and Girls Club.

In addition to that, each of the four schools also receives case management services. I’m sorry, this is Katie
Dight. They are given to about eight students per year at each of the four sites. Those students are selected from
our group and they might receive something like an interactive journaling program, some of them get a mentor. We
try to team them up with mentors who are either connected to their school or local public servants, either firefighters
or police officers. This year we expanded our mentoring program a little bit. We now work with more teachers and
coaches than we did last year.

PATRICK: We have a
total of 13 mentors.

to hear a little bit more about interactive journaling and the mechanism behind that part of the curriculum.

DIGHT: Sure. This is Katie Dight and I oversee the case manager who uses
the interactive journaling program. It’s called Keep It Direct and Simple, or KIDS for short. It’s a series
that’s divided up into different needs that the student might identify. We first meet with the student before
we select a journal. Once we kind of get to know them, talk about what they see as some of their biggest challenges,
we help them select a journal that might be most useful. For instance, a lot of our students select the one that
is called Anger and Other Feelings, other students opt for the one called Personal Relationships. It’s really
a great system that walks the student through each of these problems that are really in-depth but in an easy to understand

Our middle and high schoolers both use it. We’ve
seen some pretty good results. There’s a pre- and post-test for each of the journals. They ask things–for instance,
for the Anger and Other Feelings, they’ll ask students to name five major feelings that they’ve experienced.
For a lot of our students, it’s difficult to name anything other than maybe angry or sad when we first start,
but by the end of it they’re able to identify other ones such as grief or shame or guilt, which just helps the
students really expand their vocabulary and put words to what they’re feeling rather than just always resorting
back to anger as their number one. We really aim to have each student who’s in case management complete one
journal at least. Most of them I can at least get onto the second one and like we said, we let the students kind
of guide which one they’re interested in, which one they think will benefit the most.

In addition to the KIDS series, we have another one we pull a few different
extra assignments from. They’re totally up to the student but we find that they kind of complement one another.
It’s aimed towards an older crowd, particularly a crowd that might be in the juvenile justice system. Most of
our kids don’t have that involvement but we do find that some of those different activities have been helpful
for the students to kind of go over in depth with our case manager.

Are there other evidence-based tools that you have in use right now or that you plan to use?

PATRICK: This is Rolanda. For the program, yes. Again, the evidence-based
curriculum that we utilize for the group-level component of our program, Too Good for Drugs and Too Good for Drugs
Violence. They were both created by
the Mendez Foundation in Atlanta, Georgia.

How do those operate?

PATRICK: Each curriculum has
ten weeks of sessions. The topics include: conflict resolution, healthy relationships, goal setting, decision making,
identifying and managing emotions, bullying, peer violence, dating, drugs, media, and influence. Each curriculum
activity lasts about 55 minutes in general. Immediately following our curriculum lesson, we conduct positive development-type
activities with our youth that reflect team building and respect with a local partner, Capstone Climbing and Adventure.
That guides the young men through activities like low ropes course, working together, and making the right decisions.
We also include positive youth development activities as hip-hop workshops as well as inviting local law enforcement
officers in to talk to the youth about current events.

So the facilitators are all black men and the population of youth, they’re all young men. I’m curious about
the philosophy behind that.

PATRICK: This is Rolanda.
In regards to your question, we believe that our participants will respond best by identifying with a person that
looks like them. So in regards to our facilitators, we do have three African-American male facilitators. While the
young men do work well with myself and Ms. Katie Dight, when it comes to personal topics and just sharing what it
means to be a young man, what it means to be a young man in America, how to conquer some of the challenges that males
face, it’s easier for them to build this relationship and have that dialogue with a male facilitator versus
a female facilitator.

DIGHT: This is Katie Dight.
In addition to the facilitators, we also have all of our mentors. It is a requirement that all the mentors are male.
They don’t have to be specifically men of color but we do, like Rolanda mentioned, find it most helpful when
the students can see in either the facilitators or the mentors a positive male role model.

POPE-SUSSMAN: How do young people respond to that?

PATRICK: This is Rolanda. They absolutely love it. In regards to our attendance,
we have about a 93 percent retention rate throughout all 15 weeks. I would say that our young men are actually enjoying
the program and they are actually suggesting that their friends request to participate in the upcoming semesters.

POPE-SUSSMAN: I’m wondering if you might have a story of a young man
who came into the program and the outcome for him when he came out of the program.

This is Rolanda. Last year it was brought to our attention that a young man, he was a 7th grader at one of our middle
schools, he did not respect teachers, he did not respect the administration. He received about 15 disciplinary write-ups
last year. This year he’s in our STARS program at one of our middle schools. This young man shared about two
weeks ago that he did not like the police. He did not like police officers. It didn’t matter whether they were
male, if they were female, regardless of their race or ethnicity. We also have an activity called Pizza with Police
that we host at our four schools. This young man, he participated. He didn’t say anything but he was definitely
observing what was going on. Immediately following that session, he shared with myself that he was interested in
receiving a mentor and that he wanted the mentor to be a police officer. That just goes to show how our activities
are actually able to change the mindset of some of our participants.

On a more macro scale, I’m wondering how you’re measuring outcomes across the program.

DIGHT: Sure, this is Katie. We have a couple different ways that we’ve
been measuring it. First of all, we do without group-level individuals, we do a pre- and post-test. The very first
day of the program they receive two different evaluations. One is focusing on student knowledge and that could be
about bullying behavior, that could be about substance abuse. Then the other one is student attitudes and that’s
just towards their general attitudes on violence in general. They take that on the first day of the program and then
they complete the same two surveys on the last day of the program. So they have a semester of learning between the
two. We contract with an evaluator from UNC Charlotte. He’ll help us determine if there’s significant differences
in between those two pre- and post-.

In addition
to that, we have a group of control students at each of our four schools, so that’s about 15 students, who have
been matched with the STARS participants in terms of age, race, and their different behaviors at school. Some of
them have actually then gone on to be referred for their program for the second semester. They are also given the
pre- and post- test at the start and end of the semester. We compare whether or not the intervention group has improved
in comparison to the control group. So that’s one set that we do.

one is a school climate survey. That’s conducted in April. We did one last April, we’ll do one in 2016,
and we’ll do one more in 2017. We do that at our four target sites as well as two control schools. They have
schools that have been matched in terms of just general demographics, poverty levels in regards to free and reduced
lunch, the different ethnic makeup of the schools. We try to match them as closely as possible. They receive a school
climate survey that’s about 60 questions. We’ve added a few additional ones in terms of their relation
with their police departments in their neighborhood to gauge how students and staff are feeling on that. Then 10
percent of the school takes that. So it’s not just one grade, but rather all four grades in high school they’re
asked to take it or both of the grades in the middle school has to take it. That way we get a wide representation
about what school climate is in regards to “Is my school a safe place? Is my school clean? Do I feel welcomed?”
Then staff is asked to take a very similar school climate. Then we compare our target schools with our control schools
to see how school climate as a whole is being impacted.

Do you have some of those earlier results?

We do. We have our first semester. We did see improvements, particularly within our intervention groups in terms
of their student attitude and student knowledge prior to the start of the program compared to the end of it. The
school climate, since it was a baseline, we don’t have any real data about how we’re doing in terms of
improving that. When we started, our control schools were actually doing well in terms of their school climate as
compared to our intervention schools. So there’s definitely room for improvement but we did see a lot of positive
feedback from the staff and students in terms of what areas they’d like to see improved upon.

POPE-SUSSMAN: What’s next?

We are working on this second semester, we have three more … I’m sorry, this is Katie again. We have three
more semesters following this so the spring, then the next year will be fall 2016 and spring 2017. We’ll continue
to monitor school climate for the next two spring surveys. We’ll continue to work with three more groups of
students. Right now we’re just focused on the students that we have, both in our group-level intervention as
well as case management. We’ll start to think a little bit about our summer enrichment activities. Over the
next few weeks those ideas will really start to come together as we plan for the summer.

PATRICK: This is Rolanda. Also, building on our tutoring program at our middle
schools, increasing the number of mentors that we have, as well as the number of programs and participation that
our local law enforcement agencies provide.

Wonderful. Do you have anything else to add?

This is Rolanda. I would like to add that it is a pleasure working with our four schools. We’ve had the opportunity
to reach over 120 students thus far. Katie and I are definitely looking forward to the upcoming semesters as well
as the summer. It’s a pleasure to work with the parents, the teachers, the administrators of course as we’re
building and encouraging our young men to be as successful as possible.

Well, thank you so much for taking the time out to speak with me today.

It’s our pleasure.

DIGHT: Absolutely.

POPE-SUSSMAN: This has been Raphael Pope-Sussman of the Center for Court
Innovation. We’ve been speaking with Katie Dight and Rolanda Patrick, program managers at Cabarrus STARS, and
Sue Yates, Chief Financial Officer for the Cabarrus Health Alliance. For more information on the Center for Court
Innovation, visit