Joint Tribal-State Court Gets National Honor

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — A joint state and tribal court in Minnesota is receiving a national honor for its programs.

The court is called the Cass/Itasca County/Leech Lake Tribal Wellness Court. It has been chosen to receive the 2012 Outstanding Criminal Justice Program Award.

The Wellness Court is the first tribal-state joint court in the United States and is a national model for government cooperation.

It targets chronic alcohol and drug offenders, and uses treatment and sobriety testing to break the cycle of addiction. It’s been operating since 2006 and serves tribal members and non-tribal members in Cass County, Itasca County and on the Leech Lake Reservation.

The award is from the National Criminal Justice Association. Two judges will go to New Mexico in July to accept the honor.

(© Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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