Angela Anderson of Conasauga Mental Health Court and Terry Sosebee of Conasauga Drug Court are among the first graduates of the Accountability Court Coordinator Certification Program.
The two local leaders were recognized by the Council of Accountability Court Judges and the University of Georgia’s Carl Vinson Institute of Government during the annual CACJ training conference’s closing session held on Sept. 29 in Athens.
The CACJ partnered with CVIOG to offer an extensive training program to accountability court coordinators and program directors throughout Georgia. Employing a combination of online and in-person training sessions, the Coordinator Certification Program includes eight courses for a total of 45 hours of instruction, and the curriculum covers topics central to successful accountability court administration: accountability and advocacy, communication, conflict resolution, financial concepts, grant administration, procurement and contract management, succession planning and delegation, and team and group dynamics.
As the number of accountability courts has grown rapidly over the past few years, the objectives of the Coordinator Certification Program are to increase the knowledge of the primary administrative functions of accountability court coordinators, develop the skills necessary to carry out the administrative functions as an accountability court coordinator, develop and maintain the high standards for the functioning of the accountability courts, and increase the professionalism of accountability court coordinators.
As of July 1, there are 170 certified accountability court programs in Georgia, and the mission of the CACJ is to provide a unified framework that promotes and improves the quality, accessibility, and administration of accountability courts with a vision to make accountability courts work for all Georgians. Established in 2015, the CACJ fulfills this mission through certification, standards, peer review, data collection, training, treatment fidelity monitoring, and grants.
Accountability courts in the Conasauga Circuit, which includes Whitfield and Murray counties, include Drug Court, Mental Health Court, Veterans Court, and Domestic Violence Court. These accountability courts were established to alleviate stress in the prison system as well as target the core issues which are causing the participants to offend. Currently, Domestic Violence Court is not recognized by the CACJ and the Office of the Governor as an official Accountability Court, but the State Commission on Family Violence is currently looking at Conasauga Domestic Violence Court as the model for the state.