Rural Justice Redefined
By Rural Justice Collaborative
Rural Justice RedefinedSep 12, 2022
RJR Episode 5: Texas Dispute Resolution System serving citizens in rural communities
The vast majority of cases (criminal or civil) never see a courtroom for trial. Mediation is an alternative resolution that serves the individual and the system without fully engaging the court process. Serving rural communities is the mission of the Texas Rural Mediation Services. Gene Valentini shares his office's experience with mediation specific to rural communities.
RJR Episode 4: Reaching Rural Initiative serving victims of crime in rural communities in South Carolina
The Reaching Rural Initiative serves victims of crime through established Victims’ Rights Centers and secondarily with a software application available to victim service agencies to connect with victims and each other. This work is presently centered on eight rural communities in South Carolina (Aiken, Allendale, Bamberg, Barnwell, Beaufort, Colleton, Hampton, and Jasper counties). Rebekah Hiatt, staff attorney at the South Carolina Victim Assistance Network, shares the services, infrastructure, measures of success, and funding to support this Rural Justice Collaborative Innovation Site.
RJR Episode 3: Coordinated Community Response serving victims in rural communities
Scott County, Tennessee is the home of the Coordinated Community Response (CCR) Team and includes all locally based stakeholders serving victims of domestic violence, elder abuse, human trafficking, and sexual assault. The CCR meets weekly to identify system improvements and implement solutions that are built on this collaborative approach. Christy Harness, Executive Director, Scott County Family Justice Center, shares the finer details of the collaboration in a rural community and the recipes for success. CCR is recognized as a Rural Justice Collaborative Innovation Site.
RJR Episode 2: Recovery Coaches in public defenders offices in rural West Virginia
Recovery coaches are gaining recognition for their unique backgrounds of lived experience which provides genuine opportunities for connection with those suffering from substance use disorder and help use that shared experience to guide individuals to services. Recovery Coaches have a sustained period of sobriety and complete training and certification as a paraprofessional.
The West Virginia Public Defender Corporation hires peer recovery coaches to work directly with public defenders who refer clients early in the criminal justice process to access treatment services. Stephanne Thornton with the West Virginia Public Defender Recovery Coach Project provides an in-depth understanding of this Rural Justice Collaborative Innovation Site.
RJR Episode 1: Family Treatment Court in a rural North Carolina jurisdiction
Opioid and substance use disorders have wreaked havoc on families, and children are often an unrecognized victim of the disease. Many of these families find themselves in a courtroom to determine the best course of action to ensure the safety and wellbeing of the child. Chief District Judge Elizabeth Heath sits in the 8th Judicial District in North Carolina (Greene, Lenoir, and Wayne counties) and leads the Family Accountability and Recovery Court (FARC) which combines services from multiple agencies to support recovery and reunification of families. Judge Heath shares her experiences as a judge in a rural jurisdiction and introduces FARC, a Rural Justice Collaborative Innovation Site.