St. Regis awarded grant to implement Tribal Healing to Wellness Court


AKWESASNE, N.Y. – The Department of Justice’s Drug Court Discretionary Grant Program recently awarded $350,000 to the St. Regis Mohawk Tribal Court.

The program assists states, state courts, local courts, local government units and Indian tribes to develop and set up drug courts for adult and juvenile offenders. The law requires programs funded by the Drug Court Discretionary Grant Program to target nonviolent offenders. The program supports the following activities: adult drug court implementation, planning efforts and improvements for single-jurisdiction drug courts and statewide drug courts.

“We hope that the Healing to Wellness Drug Court will reduce substance abuse, child abuse and criminal activity often related to drug and alcohol addiction,” said Tribal Court Administrator Barbara Gray.

The St. Regis Mohawk Tribe will develop and employ the Healing to Wellness Court as a part of the Family Court. The tribe aims to provide participants with judicially supervised and tribally competent services. This includes holistic, structured and phased substance abuse treatment and rehabilitation.

The program will also integrate Mohawk culture and traditions. It will partner with the tribe’s Department of Social Services, Substance Abuse Services, Mental Health, Tribal Police and other service providers. The tribe plans a one-year program with multiple graduated treatment phases like other drug court models. Post graduation services will include life and parenting skills.

The program will certify services and service providers aware of tribal practices. “The court is excited about being awarded this competitive grant,” Gray said. “We will provide a judicially supervised program that uses Mohawk cultural traditions and methods. We can holistically restore and heal the individual, family and community affected by the individual’s actions.”

The grant will support the salaries of a new coordinator and a caseworker who will provide monitoring services, drug testing administration and develop treatment plans. A majority of program participants from the St. Regis Mohawk Reservation is expected.