She lights up a room with her enthusiasm. And she knows what needs to be done.
She has given voice to so many people.
But, there is problem. The culture is stuck. For a long time, few had understood or paid attention to her voice.
Now, some are beginning to listen. Yes, the system is badly flawed, in a rut, and much of the time making the problem worse. But, we can’t afford it anymore, both in fiscal terms and human terms. Government officials across the States and other countries are starting to come to see for themselves.
THERE IS A BETTER WAY.
Government institutions only serve the people running the system, they are making a good living off the difficulties of some of us – those who get trapped with the “unjustice ‘justice’ system” and the “unhealthy ‘health’ system” – yes, they are TRYING to help – but good intentions are not enough.
“We can’t solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them.” – Albert Einstein
Deborah Cima has a better approach.
Instead of sending people arrested for drug offenses through the criminal system — have a Drug Court. Drug Court is a drug-intervention program administered through the court system to divert defendants from jail and into drug treatment and rehabilitation.
Punishment does not work. It does not help in any case. Jails are educational institutions where people are taught to become criminals or to become better criminals — that is stupid. Moreover, jails are infested with drugs.
A two-year post completion recidivism study shows that of Drug Court graduates, less than 18 percent re-offend. But for those who do not choose drug court, 67 percent re-offend. Drug Court appears to be a true win-win for participants specifically and society as a whole. Cima calls drug court “a complimentary system of blending accountability with treatment.”
Savings from diverting offenders to Drug Court can be substantial. According to the California Association of Drug Court Professionals the annual cost of a year in prison for a convicted felon is $47,337. But, the annual cost of drug court per participant is $13,000, a savings of about $34,000 per participant, each year.
In 1994, Superior Court judge Patrick Morris began the Drug Court program, partnering with the San Bernardino County Probation Department and Mental Health Systems, Inc. Morris asked Cima to work with him as a program coordinator to develop the Drug Court and take on a job no one had done before. Cima was instantly attracted to this new program. Again, she was inspired, this time by Morris, and his vision to do something outside of the box.
“The fact that a judge, district attorney or probation officer encouraged participants to get sober and change their lives was very different,” Cima observed.
Cima has increased the funding of the drug court program ten-fold since its inception by regularly applying for grants, thus growing it from just one drug court in the city of San Bernardino to a total of 15 county-wide.
San Bernardino Drug Court was one of the first seven Mentor Courts in the nation.
Deborah Cima, Champion Idealist, has been Advocating and Championing all her life. She is a voice of hope.
Deborah Cima is the Treatment Court Coordinator for the Superior Court of California, County of San Bernardino. She has facilitated the planning, implementation and sustainment of fourteen collaborative courts in her county. These treatment courts include adult criminal, mental health courts, family dependency courts and juvenile delinquency drug courts. Her responsibilities as the coordinator include grant writing, data collection for evaluation purposes, policy and procedure development, developing team cooperation and developing relationships and linkages with community stakeholders. Deborah Cima serves as facilitator with the National Drug Court Institute since 2000 where she has facilitated over 40 states in planning and developing drug courts. She serves as adjunct faculty at San Bernardino Community College teaching a drug and alcohol studies class. Deborah is the Chair of the California Coordinators Working Group, board member for the California Association of Drug Court Professionals, and was a member of the Administrative Office of the Courts (AOC) Collaborative Justice Advisory Committee 2010-2012. Ms. Cima received her Master’s degree in Counseling/Psychology from California State University at Fullerton, California. [Dr. David Keirsey's program]
“Diplomatic Collaborators [ Champion Idealists] are beyond compare as Advocators of the aspirations of their clients.” — David Keirsey
The Interests of Idealists: All of us have interests, but we certainly don’t have the same interests, mainly because our interests are reciprocal with our abilities. Thus we are interested in doing what we do well, and tend to do well in what we are interested in doing.
Idealists find great satisfaction in the mental health services, where they tend to take the most humanistic of approaches, those advocating growth models of counseling and psychotherapy rather than the more confronting or controlling models. [Keirsey, David (1998-05-01). Please Understand Me II (Kindle Locations 2621-2622). Prometheus Nemesis Book Company. Kindle Edition.]
The probing Idealists, those who prefer open-ended experience, and who tend to give information rather than issue directives, take the role of Advocate. To the Idealists, advocating is literally “giving voice” to views and positions, beliefs and causes — ideas that people often can’t put into words for themselves — in order to nurture rapport and understanding between people. Advocates act on behalf of others, in support of others, serving as their client’s activist, adherent, ambassador, enthusiast, exponent, proponent, supporter — whenever speaking up and standing up for others can help resolve differences and bring about justice. [Please Understand Me II]
San Bernardino Drug Court was one of the first seven Mentor Courts in the nation. Drug Court staffers have trained professionals across the country in implementing drug courts and mental health courts in their own communities.
Only non-violent felons are eligible for the program. If accepted, they receive three days of treatment per week for 18 months in a Drug Court contracted drug and alcohol program. These felons have to prove they are serious about staying clean and sober. The program requires drug testing at least three times each week, attendance in court once a week, payment of a weekly $15 fee and attendance at self-help meetings. Once all the requirements are met, the offender is eligible to have his or her charges reduced or dismissed.
“Prison is a recruitment center for the army of crime. That is what it achieves. For 200 years everybody has been saying, ‘Prisons are failing; all they do is produce new criminals.’ I would say on the other hand, ‘They are a success, since that is what has been asked of them.’” — Michel Foucault