Prairie Band Potawatomi Nation Receives Grant for Drug Court

TOPEKA, Kan. - The Prairie Band Potawatomi's "Healing to Wellness Court" will receive $350,000 in federal funding, U.S. Attorney Eric Melgren announced Thursday, Sept. 4.

"We want to assist the tribal government in its effort to address the problem of substance abuse," Melgren said. "This plan emphasizes a comprehensive approach to the healing of mind, body and spirit," Melgren said.

The grant is funded by the U.S. Department of Justice's Office of Justice Programs. The money will be spent to plan and implement a Healing to Wellness Court that will provide an adult treatment program for non-violent substance abusers.

Offenders will work through a series of four steps: Wapttigwe (white thunder) which begins with detoxification, Sewttigwe (yellow thunder) which focuses on stabilizing the offender's life, Skepettigwe (green thunder) in which offenders put into practice the skills they have learned in treatment, and Kitettigwe (black thunder) which focuses on the preventing relapse.

"Participants will be evaluated before joining the program and monitored to assure they comply with the requirements," Melgren said.

For more information about the new court, call Royetta Rodewald, judicial administrator of the tribal court, at (785) 966-2242.

The Prairie Band Potawatomi's reservation is located in Jackson County about 15 miles north of Topeka.