Agency to Launch School-Based Therapy Services

Trilium Resources is an Eastern North Carolina government agency that provides services concerned with mental health, substance abuse, and intellectual and developmental disabilities. In the wake of continued school shootings, it is providing mental health resources to schools and communities. Specifically, Trilium is working on educating the public, removing the stigma from mental illness, and connecting people in need of assistance with mental health providers. Read more here.

New Report Describes Reform Coming to the Broken Cash Bail System

The Pretrial Justice Institute has released a report, “Where Pretrial Improvements are Happening,” about progress being made in improving pretrial practices. In an interview, Cherise Fanno Burdeen, the CEO of the Pretrial Justice Institute, talked about these issues within North Carolina. Burdeen pointed out the cash-bail system, the for-profit bail bond industry, and pre-trail services that vary by county and are generally underfunded. However, the report also identifies movement within the state toward reform. For example, judges have been using their power for reform within existing statutes. Ultimately, the report calls for a pretrial risk assessment tool to replace cash-bail. Burdeen noted that real reform will come from state law changes and changes from higher courts. Learn more here.

Poetry Performance to Respond to Jumpsuit Project

Join poet, writer and educator Dasan Ahanu and the Black On Black Project for a Spoken Word performance Thursday, May 10 at 7 p.m. inside Artspace in downtown Raleigh. The program will be a response to artfor(us), the latest art exhibition from Sherrill Roland. Best known for his Jumpsuit Project, in which Roland enters museum and gallery spaces in his former prison jumpsuit, this work represents a departure into object-based art making. Roland collages and paints issues of Art Forum magazine that he collected while wrongfully incarcerated, exposing the disparities in the fine art world and the American prison system. The event is free and open to the public, but click here to register.

NC Alliance for Women Reentrants and their Children May Meeting

The NC Alliance for Women Reentrants and their Children will hold their monthly meeting on May 17th from 10am to 12pm at First Presbyterian Church in Raleigh. During this meeting, guest speaker Kay Sanford will be in attendance. Sanford is a former state injury epidemiologist and current NC Harm Reduction Coalition volunteer who works in NC prisons/jails. She will review the steps to help those who use drugs or know people who use drugs, the tenets of harm reduction, opioids in the body, and strategies to mitigate the collateral damage from drug use. Please RSVP to Emily Walter at ejwalte@ncsu.edu.

Correctional Facilities Rely on Videoconferencing to Provide Medical Care

When an inmate requires a visit with a medical specialist, some correctional institutions are providing care through “telemedicine,” which allows them to see a doctor by video. There are many challenges that can make it difficult to provide in person visits. Prisons are often located in rural areas that are isolated from certain medical specialists. Traveling to medical facilities can be burdensome for sick inmates. The cost of transportation can be significantly higher than a video visit. Videoconferencing for medical care is becoming increasingly common. A survey by the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that 30 states out of 45 that responded said they used telemedicine for at least one type of specialty or diagnostic service. Telemedicine is meant to complement in person medical care rather than to replace it. It can make it easier for referring physicians at the jail to work as a team with outside physicians. Still, some advocates worry that it can contribute to isolation of inmates. Learn more here. 

NCAOC Develops School Justice Partnership Toolkit

The North Carolina Administrative Office of the Courts is developing a Toolkit for chief district court judges and other stakeholders to implement School Justice Partnerships. The Toolkit provides resources to help community partners develop and implement the School Justice Partnership, including action lists, timelines, a model agreement, and templates for other necessary documents. The School Justice Partnership (SJP) is a group of community stakeholders – including school administrators, the law enforcement community, court system actors, juvenile justice personnel, and others – that develops and implements effective strategies to address student misconduct. SJPs work to reduce the number of suspensions, expulsions, and referrals to the justice system by timely and constructively addressing student misconduct when and where it happens, helping students succeed in school and preventing negative outcomes for both youth and their communities. Learn more here.