Five programs from Minnesota counties, including Cass County, were recognized with Association of Minnesota Counties’ (AMC) 2012 Outstanding Service Awards for exhibiting excellence and innovation in their counties.
Recipients were nominated by their counties and selected by a committee of county officials, chaired by 2012 AMC second vice president Toni Carter.
Cass and Itasca counties were recognized for the Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe Wellness Court.
The Cass County/Itasca County/Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe Wellness Court is a collaboration among Cass County District Court, Itasca District Court and the Leech Lake Tribal Court. The Wellness Court has received numerous awards for its innovative problem-solving concepts that reached across jurisdictional boundaries to help chronic alcohol offenders change their lives.
The collaboration has served as a national model of intergovernmental cooperation that saves lives and in the process saves taxpayer dollars.
The Wellness Court is led by the team that includes a district court judge, a tribal court judge, coordinator, probation, county attorney, public defender, county and local law enforcement, and local treatment providers.
The program is responsible for transforming the lives of its participants and their families from chronic alcohol offenders to productive taxpaying citizens.