The courts should provide all court personnel with access to continuing education about substance abuse and should encourage court personnel to avail themselves of educational opportunities inside and outside the court system.
All court personnel should understand the problem of substance abuse. Substance abuse education is fundamental to such understanding. The more understanding court personnel have of this disorder, the more effective they can be in successfully responding to the issue. Education may be provided through the Supreme Judicial Court Standing Committee on Substance Abuse, the Office of the Commissioner of Probation, the Bureau of Substance Abuse Services of the Department of Public Health, the Judicial Institute of the Trial Court, the Flaschner Judicial Institute, the Human Resources Department of the Administrative Office of the Trial Court, and other educational groups. Training should include: basic substance abuse education, including information on treatment options and the recovery process; information on research regarding effective substance abuse treatment programs; planning sessions to develop strategies to improve the processing of cases involving substance abuse in each court; and specialized information and skills to meet the professional needs of certain employee groups. Continuing education should include updated information on these topics.