During work session, Douglas County Commission will receive update on specialty courts

photo by: Journal-World

The west side of the Douglas County Courthouse, 1100 Massachusetts St., is pictured on Sept. 23, 2021.

With no items on the regular agenda for this week’s Douglas County Commission meeting, county leaders will be focusing on learning more about the county’s specialty courts.

At Wednesday’s meeting, commissioners will receive a presentation on the two courts — the Behavioral Health Court first launched as a pilot in June 2016 and the Drug Court launched in January 2020 — from Criminal Justice Services Director Pam Weigand during a work session. According to the meeting agenda, the presentation will include “high level overviews of participant outcomes, adherence to best practices and the impact of these courts on changing the lives of their participants.”

The two courts are presided over by Judge Sally Pokorny and Judge Mark Simpson, respectively. They’re designed as alternatives to the traditional court system.

Along with representatives with the Douglas County District Court, defense attorneys and local law enforcement, both courts also collaborate with local agencies to provide further support for participants. Both courts work with DCCCA clinicians, and the Behavioral Health Court also works with Bert Nash Community Mental Health Center to provide peer support and case management.

Commissioners don’t take any action on items discussed during work sessions.

As of Tuesday afternoon, the agenda for the business meeting that will follow the work session includes only a few items on the consent agenda, which is generally reserved for items that are considered routine that can be approved by one vote from commissioners without any discussion. The consent agenda includes a conditional use permit and a set of rezoning requests for Serenata Farms — which is home to a landscaping business, an indoor baseball training facility and an outdoor ballfield — near Lecompton along U.S. Highway 40.

The County Commission’s work session will begin at 4 p.m. Wednesday in the Douglas County Public Works training room at 3755 E. 25th St., and the business meeting will follow at 5:30 p.m. The meeting will also be available via Zoom.


Welcome to the new LJWorld.com. Our old commenting system has been replaced with Facebook Comments. There is no longer a separate username and password login step. If you are already signed into Facebook within your browser, you will be able to comment. If you do not have a Facebook account and do not wish to create one, you will not be able to comment on stories.