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CJCJ and Federal Partners Collaborate to Enhance Conviction Alternatives Program (CAP)

You X Ventures | Unsplash.com

You X Ventures | Unsplash.com

For the next year, the Conviction Alternatives Program (CAP), a federal collaborative court that partners with CJCJ, will be participating in the Federal Judiciary Center (FJC) Quality Improvement program. CAP is an alternative to incarceration court designed to help clients with substance use issues and is a collaborative partnership between the District Court and Magistrate Judges, U.S. Pretrial Services, Federal Public Defender, U.S. Attorney’s Office and CJCJ.

Modeled after drug court, CAP offers three large incentives to its participants: a reduced incarceration sentence, avoiding incarceration and receiving only a supervision term, or a complete dismissal of the case. Clients receive intensive supervision and are given individual program plans that often include individual counseling, substance use meetings, cognitive behavioral therapy, and full time employment, education, or vocational training.

The CAP team’s current goals include refining its policies and streamlining a process to connect clients to community-based resources on a regular basis. Over the next year, we will be working with researchers and educators in the FJC Quality Improvement Program to strategize around these goals and ensure CAP’s success.

In November 2018, CJCJ’s CAP staff traveled to Dallas, Texas for a conference to meet with other collaborative courts that will be involved in the program. This year’s group is comprised of two courts from St. Louis, a gang court and mental health court, as well as a reentry court from Miami. Each collaborative court team approaches their work with an eagerness to learn and a commitment to the communities they serve. At the conference, the teams presented on their challenges with regards to meeting clients’ needs, accessing resources, and incorporating new approaches. As part of this year’s program, CJCJ and FJC teams will come together for monthly sessions, hold meetings to build our talking points, and apply these improvements to CAP.

The FJC provides an extremely supportive approach which focuses on enhancing participating programs and building upon their strong foundations. Through the FJC program, the CAP team will develop a deeper understanding of our strengths and build habits that will improve our collective problem-solving abilities.

This year marks a period of immense growth and continued dedication to strengthening Northern District of California's collaborative courts.

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