The Judiciary of Guam has launched the Driving While Intoxicated (DWI) Court.
The new therapeutic court is supported through a United State Department of Justice Office of Justice Programs Grant of $339,969 to address the number of adult DWI cases through evidence-based therapeutic methods.
“Therapeutic courts seek compensation by looking at reducing recidivism and underlying causes that lead some people to repeatedly violate the law,” said Chief Justice Katherine A. Maraman. “The establishment and operations of the DWI Court is the way forward for us a Judiciary to how we handle these cases conforming to modern sensibilities.”
From 2010-2015, 2,704 DWI Cases were filed in the Superior Court of Guam-an average of 450 cases
a year. The grant will allow, among other things, the Judiciary of Guam to hire and train program staff, team members and therapists in policies and evidence-based tools and practices, and assist efforts with mandated data collection.
Piloted in 2010, the program is modeled after the Judiciary’s Adult Drug Court Program to provide treatment based on assessment, such as that determined by the American Society of Addiction Medicine.
“The Judiciary knows that access to treatment is critical to improve outcomes”, said Presiding Judge Alberto C. Lamorena III. “Closing the gap in time for clients in this therapeutic court to receive the treatment they need brings them one step closer to helping them turn their lives around.”
The Program will accept 10-15 adult male and female participants each program year. The participants have been identified as medium/high risk and high need alcohol-dependent offenders, who may have co-occurring disorders and are either first time or repeat DWI violators with a Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) at 0.15 and higher.
The DWI Court Support Services is a section under the Probation Services Division of the Judiciary of Guam whose mission is to promote public safety through risk-based supervision, support client reintegration, reduce recidivism and support the administration of justice for court-involved youth, adults, victims and the community.