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Tamarack 

Purpose Statement

 

The purpose of the Tamarack Program is to assist adults with substance use or mental health

treatment needs regardless of the person’s criminal history. Programming is intended to support

participants’ access to appropriate treatment or other resources with the aim of improving the person’s

health and reducing future adverse involvement in the justice system. Participants may engage in a

restorative process if appropriate.

Eligible Population

 

Any adult charged with an offense other than a felony offense that is a listed crime pursuant to 13

V.S.A § 5301, regardless of their criminal history, is eligible for Tamarack.

The following conditions must be met for participation in this program:

• The prosecutor has determined there is probable cause

• The prosecutor or defense attorney indicates a likelihood of a substance use or mental

health treatment need

• The person’s screening indicates substance use and/or mental health treatment is needed

Referrals to Tamarack

The prosecuting attorney may refer a person to Tamarack either before or after arraignment and

shall notify our agency in writing of their intent to refer.

Confidentiality and Information Sharing

All information gathered in the course of the Tamarack process shall be held strictly confidential

and shall not be released without the participant’s prior consent except in peer reviews during which

data and files may be reviewed by an external team for program and audit purposes only, or in reporting

cases where data is conveyed but the identity of the individual is not revealed.

As part of applying to Tamarack, participants agree to share with the affected party information that directly

pertains to the affected party(s) by signing the relevant section of the application form. If the Court imposes conditions of release in a case diverted to Tamarack, the case remains public so that law enforcement may know of the conditions. Once the person completes the program, the confidentiality provisions of the Diversion statute apply.

Risk, Need, Responsivity Principles

 

The Tamarack program aims to follow Risk, Need, Responsivity principles.

a. Risk principle - intensive intervention may be ineffective or actually harmful for low-risk

offenders,

b. Need Principle - target the specific needs of each participant, and

c. Responsivity Principle - tailor the intervention to be responsive to each individual’s

situation, interests, goals, and strengths.

The Tamarack Coordinator does the following:

• Coordinates participants’ care for 90 days

• Provides needs assessments to participants, if they are not already engaged in treatment

• Prioritizes making referrals to substance use and mental health providers

• Connects participants to supportive community-based resources

• Communicates with the prosecutor, defense, and court as defined by 3 V.S.A § 164(b)(2)

• Facilitates a restorative justice approach when appropriate

• Reaches out to victims ideally on the same day but no later than five business days of the

Tamarack participant applying to participate in the program.

• Communicates with victims to obtain input, provide support, and offer a chance to participate in

the restorative process

• Collects restitution if applicable

• Obtains signed releases to communicate with treatment and other community-based providers

• Communicates acceptance and closure to the court, prosecutor, and, if applicable, defense

attorney

• Gives honest feedback to the person about their current level of engagement with Pretrial

Services and treatment

Engagement in Tamarack

 

This may include, but is not limited to:

• Attending scheduled meetings with the Tamarack coordinator

• Addressing substance use or mental health needs by:

o Participating in screenings; or

o Signing releases for the Tamarack coordinator to confirm engagement in treatment

• Identify tasks that aim to repair the harm done and reduce the likelihood of re-offense

For more information contact Alicia@fgirjc.org