The U.S. legal system provides a series of rules, including codes of ethical conduct that require civility from judges, lawyers, and anyone who comes before a court. Courts and lawyers function as civil facilitators, seeking to resolve difficult problems in our society. Our legal system requires significant time and expense for society and for the individual. Ideally, the individual does not end up in the courts again.
How are courts ensuring people, including those who are most vulnerable, have adequate access to this system? Can we ensure the system provides solutions, especially for problems people cannot seem to solve on their own? Can the system solve long-lasting societal issues – such as recidivism?
One tool courts have created in recent years is the problem-solving court. In 1998, Idaho’s first such court, a drug court, began in Kootenai County. Today, many counties across Idaho have adopted this model to address drug and mental health related problems. How did these courts come to be? Do they work and how do they work?
At this forum, we will hear from a panel that includes those closest to the development and operation of these problem-solving courts, with Justice Roger Burdick, Norma Jaeger, Judge Timothy Hansen, and Judge Michael Reardon, answering these questions and more.
Justice Roger S. Burdick has served as a justice of the Idaho Supreme Court since 2003. Prior to his service on the Supreme Court, Justice Burdick served as a district judge and a magistrate judge. Justice Burdick will speak about steps the courts have taken to improve access to the courts and to improve outcomes and solutions for individuals seeking justice.
Norma D. Jaeger, M.S. has spent more than 30 years developing and managing public mental health treatment programs as well as alcohol and drug use prevention and treatment programs throughout the Northwest. She serves as the Idaho Supreme Court’s statewide drug court and mental health court coordinator. Ms. Jaeger will speak about the history and background of problem-solving courts.
Judge Timothy Hansen is a district judge for the Fourth Judicial District in Ada County. Judge Hansen helped establish and is currently the presiding judge for the Ada County Veterans Court. Judge Hansen will speak about his experience as a presiding judge hearing mental health court matters, as well as for Ada County Felony Drug Court.
Judge Michael Reardon serves a district judge in the Fourth Judicial District and presided over the Ada County Mental Health Court from 2010 through 2014. He will assume the responsibility of presiding over the Ada County Veteran's Court later this month. Judge Reardon will speak about his experience as a magistrate in traditional family and criminal law courts and with mental health and veteran’s courts.
City Club thanks our annual sponsors, including Northwest Nazarene University, Peppershock Media, Red Sky Public Relations, and Spink Butler, LLP. Recordings are made possible thanks to our partners at Idaho Public Television and Boise State Public Radio. To see and hear the recordings of previous forums in the Civility Series, visit www.boisecivilityproject.org Members, be sure to log in to your account when registering in order to receive the discounted member rate. The discount will be applied as you check out. If you have difficulty, call 208-371-2221 and staff can assist you.
Visit our YouTube channel to see an overview of City Club of Boise and our forums.