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Faulkner County Juvenile Drug Court Expands UCA Partnerships

2 min read

The Faulkner County Juvenile Drug Court on Thursday announced expanded partnerships with the University of Central Arkansas and other community members in an event at the university’s campus in Conway.

“Adolescents with substance disorders frequently have mental health disorders, traumatic histories, and other risk factors that present unique challenges for the court. As such, it is imperative that the court develop a strong team to support youth,” Judge Troy Braswell said in a news release. “We are excited to announce the expansion of this team and explain how it will impact our youth, their families and our community.”

The drug court has partnered with the UCA Department of Occupational Therapy to support youth. The program holds weekly meetings on campus.

Program director Lorrie George-Paschal has been added to the drug court team. She began working with the drug court in 2015 after mentoring a UCA student whose thesis focused on reintegration after incarceration.

“Research results supported the need for occupational therapy services for individuals who had been incarcerated. Subsequent to this research, I chose to partner with the FCJDC to create a community program designed to redirect adolescents who are on the verge of embarking on a lifetime of drug use, illegal activities, and recidivism, as seen in the adult participants we interviewed,” George-Paschal said in a news release.

She also said, “The mentoring program quickly evolved into a club where occupational therapy student mentors facilitate adolescents to participate in goal-setting, engage in new leisure interests and develop leadership skills, and give back to their community.”

Other additions to the drug court team include school resource officers Deputy Kevin Miller with the Faulkner County Sheriff’s Office and Officer Sean Julian with the Conway Police Department; community representatives Jerry Boyer, who serves on the Faulkner County Quorum Court, and Daniel Tyler, executive director of Deliver Hope; and Bobby Strobel with Central Arkansas Workforce Services.

Originally, the team included Braswell; Faulkner County Public Defender Jim Lane; Faulkner County Juvenile Court prosecuting attorney; Leslie Dawes, the drug court coordinator; therapists Kristy Kennedy and Aaron Croy; and Ed Franklin, education representative.

The drug court also shared statistics gathered since it was piloted in late 2015. The court said its impact has been a 23 percent reduction in detention intakes, a 25 percent reduction in total days juveniles were imprisoned and a 7 percent reduction in charges filed. And 56.8 of detainees were released within 48 hours.

The drug court also partners with a number of other UCA faculty, staff and students.

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