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NADCP Conference Evaluation

 

Evaluation of Participation in the Nashville Conference, 2012

 

INTRODUCTION

On 30 May - 2 June 2012 CICAD, in conjunction with the NADCP, brought 38 representatives from eight countries to the 18th Annual NADCP Training Conference in Nashville, TN. Participants from Argentina, the Dominican Republic, Panama, El Salvador, Chile, Costa Rica, Belize, and Jamaica took part in the intensive, internationally geared Spanish language training regimen organized by CICAD.

OBJECTIVES

  1. To train participants in the key principles, rules, and processes of drug courts.
  2. To educate participants on how to properly implement drug courts.
  3. To give participants the chance to meet with like-minded judicial representatives from the Americas- many of whom face similar problems.

DESCRIPTION

Over the course of the four-day event, participants were given the opportunity to experience the first-ever international track of the NADCP Conference including an intensive half-day Spanish language "immersion", as well as an afternoon at a DTC in Tennessee complete with real time interpretation during both the court and question and answer session. A second day of interactive and more specialized Spanish language workshops followed. Later days in the event also included 1-2 Spanish workshops per day which participants were free to attend at their discretion.

RESULTS

Highlighting CICAD dedication to the event, Ambassador Paul Simons attended the conference, supporting the established relationship with NADCP President West Huddleston.

Overall CICAD international participation in the event was 38, including the Chief Justice Zaila McCalla of Jamaica who spoke as a panelist.

EVALUATION

As represented by Figure 1, participants were very positive when assessing the event, expressing a near 100% overall valuation.

It is clear that while overall the event had a profound affect, the drug court visit registered more positively than any other aspect (Fig.2). Participants noted in the comments section (Page 5) that the court experience had the educational effect that was needed to bridge the gap between perceived difficulties and reality. That is to say, after seeing the court session, the many detailed, difficult topics that had been discussed on the previous day were presented as clear, consequentially flowing processes.

Participants confirmed that they were most impressed by a visit to the DTC in Nashville, as evidenced by the full "5" score given in the assessment (see Annex 1). There they had the opportunity to see the whole drug treatment court process with live interpretation into Spanish, from the normally closed pre-court session to the actual court session, complete with a question-and-answer period afterwards with the DTC professionals. During the question-and-answer session, they had the opportunity to find solutions that could only come from experiencing a DTC, which normally would be answered only by trail and error in their respective countries' pilot DTCs, anticipating many of the issues that could possibly happen. As a result, CICAD was able to pinpoint the areas where the countries would need the most help. CICAD plans to continue using the tool of live DTCs to help train participants and understand the issues facing Latin American DTCs.

As shown in Figure 2.2, support from CICAD was deemed "Excellent." CICAD strives to ensure that this average remains as close to 5 as possible and the regular evaluation surveys are a means of measuring satisfaction with activities.

 

As evidenced by the comments section, the overwhelming majority of participants felt that the greatest problem their countries faced was financial. This feeling was translated into the rating of 4.5 for viability. To be sure, this is a good score, nearly 100% (5, Figs. 1 & 1.5, Annex 1), but shows the relative weak point that is financial support for Drug Treatment Court in participants' respective judicial and healthcare systems.

Throughout the rest of the training seminar, participants attended various training sessions conducted in Spanish by representatives from Puerto Rico, Chile, Mexico, and the USA.

EXCHANGE

Participants also had the unique chance to bring all of their concerns to fellow Latin American judicial and health representatives in similar situations. This personal exchange of experiences, opinions, and advice prompted participants to request future events of this kind as well as contact information for all participants to ensure that all involved could maintain the productive relationships formed. Participants confirmed the usefulness of the exchange by their 100% agreement with CICAD hosting further events.

CONCLUSION

With the help of the NADCP, CICAD was able to design the "International Track" of the NADCP Conference to accomplish all of the goals for this event.

Questions and comments regarding this report should be sent to:

Antonio Lomba
E-mail address

Joseph Spadafore
E-mail address


updated on 8/21/2013 3:17:05 PM