Content Experts

Gray Barton
Gray Barton is the Executive Director for the Office of Problem-Solving Courts in Annapolis, Maryland. In this position Mr. Barton oversees the planning and administration of various types of drug and DUI courts, mental health courts, truancy courts, and other problem-solving court programs for the Maryland Judiciary. Mr. Barton began counseling emotionally disturbed adolescent males at New Dominion Wilderness Program in Cumberland, MD. He later took an Addictions Specialist position with the State of Maryland, diagnosing and treating adolescent males with chemical dependency issues. He held the Treatment Supervisor position at The Abraxas Foundation of Ohio before becoming the Treatment Court Coordinator for the Mansfield Municipal Court and assisted the court in developing one of the first municipal drug courts in the State of Ohio. Then as the Treatment Coordinator of the Richland County Drug Court, Mr. Barton was involved in the implementation and continuation of regional municipal and common pleas drug courts in several counties, assisting in the planning and implementation of drug court programs in these jurisdiction. Executive Director, Office of Problem-Solving Courts, 2011-D Commerce Park Drive, Annapolis, Maryland 21401, (410) 260-3617,


Honorable Kevin Burke
Kevin Burke, a Minneapolis trial judge since 1984, is one of the most recognized leaders within the American judiciary. He served several terms as chief judge of the Hennepin County (Minn.) District Court, a 62-judge court, where he instituted social science studies examining—and reforms improving—procedural fairness. Burke coauthored the American Judges Association's white paper on procedural fairness in 2007. Burke received the William H. Rehnquist Award from the National Center for State Courts in 2003, an award presented annually to the state judge who most exemplifies the highest level of judicial excellence, integrity, fairness, and professional ethics. He has received many other awards, including trial judge of the year by the Minnesota chapter of the American Board of Trial Advocates in 2005; Public Official of the Year by Governing magazine in 2004; the Distinguished Service Award from the National Center for State Courts in 2002; and the Director's Community Leadership Award from the Federal Bureau of Investigation in 1997.Burke presently serves as president of the American Judges Association. He regularly lectures judges throughout the United States and Canada, and he also teaches law school courses on trial practice and criminal law.


Michael Finigan
Dr. Michael Finigan, President and Owner of NPC Research, has been involved in research and evaluation in the criminal justice arena since 1986. He also serves as Director of Policy Research and Director of Development. Dr. Finigan's work has focused on substance abuse treatment and prevention for both adolescents and adults, particularly in criminal justice settings. He currently serves as Principal Investigator on a cost benefit evaluation of California drug courts.

Dr. Finigan's previous work includes a national study of Family Treatment Drug Courts, evaluation of the Multnomah County (Oregon) drug court, a study of drug courts and Medicaid managed behavioral health care, evaluation of the effects of Proposition 36 for Santa Clara County in California, an evaluation of CSAP-funded State Incentive Grant for the state of Oregon, an evaluation of a CMHS/CSAT-funded jail diversion programs for individuals with co-occurring disorders, and a study of a CSAT-funded juvenile justice network intervention for adolescents with substance abuse problems. Additionally, he directed an evaluation of the STOP Drug Court Diversion Program and an evaluation of societal outcomes and cost savings of drug and alcohol treatment in the state of Oregon.

Dr. Finigan earned a Ph.D. in Sociology in 1979, founded the Social Science Research Center at the University of Wisconsin in 1982, and was a professor in Sociology at Willamette University from 1984 to 1990. In 1990, he founded Northwest Professional Consortium, Inc. (NPC Research), an Oregon-based research and evaluation firm.



Christian Henrichson
Chris specializes in cost and cost-benefit analyses of the justice system and has authored training materials for the Cost-Benefit Knowledge Bank for Criminal Justice, a project of the Bureau of Justice Assistance, to help jurisdictions build their capacity to conduct cost-benefit studies and apply cost-benefit analysis to policymaking. He is co-author of Cost Benefit Analysis of Raising the Age of Juvenile Jurisdiction in North Carolina, The Price of Prisons: What Incarceration Costs Taxpayers, and A Guide to Calculating Justice-System Marginal Costs.

Before joining Vera, Chris worked for more than six years at the New York City Office of Management and Budget where he was responsible for the budget preparation and operational oversight of the Administration for Children's Services —the city agency that provides child welfare, juvenile justice, and child care programming—and the Department of Homeless Services. He has also worked on welfare-to-work research at MDRC and retirement policy at the U.S. Social Security Administration. He has a BA in economics from Gettysburg College and an MPP from Georgetown University.



Tara Kunkel
Tara brings fourteen years of experience as a former Circuit Court administrator, Drug Court Administrator and Criminal Justice Planner to her role as a Principal Court Management Consultant. She has worked extensively with the judiciary, elected officials and policy makers to improve justice policies and practices, and to expand collaborative court diversion and intervention efforts.  Tara is skilled in court administration, to include training and process analysis, and she has broad experience in planning and implementing programs that reduce risk and recidivism. She has also facilitated cross-system information sharing and collaborations. Tara has held numerous state-level leadership roles including serving as President of the Virginia Drug Court Association and being appointed by the Chief Justice of the Virginia Supreme Court to the Statewide Drug Treatment Court Advisory Board. 



Honorable Stephen V. Manley

Judge Manley is a Superior Court Judge in Santa Clara County. He presently severs as is the Supervising Judge of all Felony and Misdemeanor drug and mental health cases in that Division of the Court.

He developed and personally presides over a number of Collaborative Justice programs and calendars, that include more than 2,000 offenders who participate in treatment and rehabilitation services while on probation or parole.

He was a founder of the Drug Treatment Court in Santa Clara County in 1994.
He founded the Santa Clara County Mental Health Court in 1999, presently, the largest mental health treatment court in the United States.

He established the first State Parolee Reentry Court in California, in 2008 in collaboration with the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation,

He also established one of the first Veterans Treatment Courts in 2008 in collaboration with the local Veterans Administration and County agencies to work with offenders who have served in the military, and suffer from mental illness, and substance abuse.

He was appointed by the Chief Justice to serve on the California Council on Mentally Ill Offenders in 2010.He also chaired the Reentry Subcommittee of the Judicial Council Task Force for Mental Health Issues. The Task Force made broad and comprehensive recommendations that are presently being implemented. . He also serves as a member of the Judicial Council Advisory Committee on Collaborative Justice Courts.

He advocates for Legislative change and sentencing reform. He participated in the drafting of legislation that expanded and funded treatment courts, created and funded pilot reentry courts for parolees through the California Legislature, and greater opportunities for Veterans to receive treatment as a part of probation.

He serves on the faculty of the California Judicial College and has taught many courses for Judges in the areas of collaborative courts, drug abuse, mental health, veterans, evidence based sentencing, behavior modification and reentry. He speaks on these subjects and makes presentations throughout California and in other states.

He is a member of the Board of Directors of the National Association of Drug
Court Professionals, President of the California Association of Drug Court Professionals, and a member by
appointment of the Chief Justice, of the California Council on Mentally Ill Offenders.

In 2008, he received the Chief Justice's Award for Exemplary Service and Leadership from California Chief Justice Ronald George.

He is a graduate of Stanford Law School.


Douglas B. Marlowe
Douglas B. Marlowe, J.D., Ph.D., is the Chief of Science, Law & Policy for the National Association of Drug Court Professionals, a Senior Scientist at the Treatment Research Institute, and an Adjunct Associate Professor of Psychiatry at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine. His research focuses on the role of coercion in drug abuse treatment, the effects of drug courts and other diversion programs for drug abusers involved in the criminal justice system, and behavioral treatments for drug abusers and criminal offenders.



Roger H. Peters, Ph.D.
Dr. Peters serves as Professor in the Department of Mental Health Law and Policy at the Louis de la Parte Florida Mental Health Institute (FMHI), University of South Florida (USF), where he has been a faculty member since 1986.  He served as Department Chair from 2004-2011 and as Associate Department Chair from 2002-2004.  Dr. Peters received his Ph.D. in clinical psychology from the Florida State University, following completion of a pre-doctoral internship at the University of North Carolina, School of Medicine. Dr. Peters has served as Principal Investigator and Director for several grant projects, including the NIDA Research Core Center – USF’s Center on Co-Occurring Disorders, Justice, and Multidisciplinary Research (CJM Center).  From 1995–2004 Dr. Peters served as the lead consultant to the National GAINS Center for People with Co-occurring Disorders in the Justice System.  He has published frequently in major journals, served on federal expert panels, grant and document reviews, national advisory boards and committees, and has served as a consultant to federal and state agencies.  Dr. Peters served for four years on the Board of Directors of the National Association of Drug Court Professionals and for eight years on the Treatment-Based Drug Court Steering Committee for the Supreme Court of Florida.  He serves on the editorial boards for the Drug Court Review and the Journal of Dual Diagnosis.  Dr. Peters also served as Chair and Co-Editor of the SAMHSA/CSAT Treatment Improvement Protocol (TIP) #44 on “Substance Abuse Treatment for Adults in the Criminal Justice System”.  On March 20, 2007, Dr. Peters provided testimony to the U.S. House Judiciary Committee on the "Second Chance Act of 2007" legislation. 


Michael Rempel
Michael Rempel is research director at the Center for Court Innovation, ultimately overseeing all research conducted at the agency. He is currently directing a statewide evaluation of specialized drug courts in New York; a randomized trial of evidence-based assessment tools; a national study of the commercial sexual exploitation of children; and a multi-site formative study of initiatives to address children’s exposure to violence. He is also co-principal investigator on a multi-site evaluation of specialized reentry courts and a study of the Red Hook (Brooklyn) community court. In the past, he has published extensively on research related to drug courts (including NIJ’s Multi-Site Adult Drug Court Evaluation) and criminal justice interventions in cases of intimate partner violence. He is co-editor of Documenting Results: Research on Problem-Solving Justice (2007).



Richard K. Ries, MD
Richard K. Ries, MD, is Professor of Psychiatry, and Director of the Addictions Division in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at the University of Washington School of Medicine in Seattle, Washington and Director of the Psychiatric Rehabilitation and Recovery services at Harborview Medical Center in downtown Seattle. Dr. Ries received his undergraduate degree from Stanford, medical degree from Northwestern Medical School and completed his psychiatric residency  at the University of Washington, Seattle, where he was Chief Resident.

Dr. Ries is board-certified in Psychiatry by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology with Added Qualifications in Addiction Psychiatry. A Distinguished Fellow of the American Psychiatric Association and a Fellow of the American Society of Addiction Medicine, he is a reviewer for several scientific journals and holds a number of research grants from the National Institute of Health. He has published numerous articles and abstracts on topics related to treatment of persons with severe mental illness, with special emphasis on those co-existing problems with alcohol or drugs.



John Roman
John Roman is a senior fellow in the Justice Policy Center at the Urban Institute, where he focuses on evaluations of innovative crime-control policies and justice programs. He is also the executive director of the District of Columbia Crime Policy Institute, where he directs research on crime and justice matters on behalf of the Executive Office of the Mayor. Roman is directing several studies funded by the National Institute of Justice, including two randomized trials of the use of DNA in motor vehicle thefts and burglary investigations, an evaluation of post-conviction DNA evidence testing to estimate rates of wrongful conviction, and a study on why forensic evidence is rarely used by law enforcement to identify unknown offenders. He manages the national evaluation of adult drug courts, directs a study on the social benefit of informal social controls of postal carriers, and is working to develop the first social-impact bonds in the United States. He also serves as a lecturer at the University of Pennsylvania and an affiliated professor at Georgetown University.



Hon. Robert T. Russell, Jr.
Judge Robert Russell is an Associate Judge for Buffalo City Court and serves by appointment as an Acting Erie County Court Judge. In January of 2008, Judge Russell created and began presiding over the nation’s first “Veterans’ Treatment Court”. The National Vietnam Veterans of America awarded Judge Russell with the Vietnam Veterans of America “2010 Achievement Medal”. Also, The National Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States awarded Judge Russell with the “2010 James E. Dan Zandt Citizenship Award”.

Prior to his service as a Treatment Court Judge for veterans, he created Buffalo’s Drug Treatment Court in December 1995 and continues to serve as its Presiding Judge. In addition, in December 2002, he established and began presiding over Buffalo’s Mental Health Treatment Court. This court oversees treatment cases involving individuals diagnosed with severe mental illness. The National Alliance for the Mentally Ill (NAMI), an advocacy organization for the mentally ill, has awarded Judge Russell the “Nancy D. Smith Memoriam Award”. Also, the Mental Health Association of Erie County has awarded Judge Russell with the “Professional Service Award”.

Judge Russell is the Past Chairman of the Board of Directors of the National Association of Drug Court Professionals, Inc., located in Alexandria, Virginia and the Past President of the New York State Association of Drug Treatment Court Professionals, Inc. He also serves on the National Advisory Board of the Judges’ Criminal Justice/Mental Health Leadership Initiative (JLI). Judge Russell is the recipient of the 2003 Erie County Bar Association’s “Award of Merit,” the 2009 Erie County Bar Association’s “Justice Award”, the New York State Bar Association “Award for Outstanding Judicial Contribution”, and the 2010 American Bar Association’s “Franklin N. Flaschner Award” for commitment to high ideals, exemplary character, leadership and competence in performing judicial duties. Community Awards include The Buffalo News “2009 Outstanding Citizen Award” and also the Leadership Buffalo “2010 Openness to Change Award”.


Dr. Robert Schwartz
Dr. Robert Schwartz is the Medical Director of Friends Research Institute and Associate Professor of Psychiatry in the Division of Alcohol and Drug Abuse at the University of Maryland School of Medicine. He has worked in the addiction field for over 20 years conducting clinical research, overseeing drug abuse treatment systems of care, providing treatment services, and teaching.

His more than 70 peer reviewed publications and book chapters examine novel service delivery systems for the treatment of opiate dependence including the use of methadone without counseling as a cost-effective approach to expanding treatment penetration and methadone or buprenorphine treatment in prison as strategy to reduce relapse and recidivism. Dr. Schwartz is a member of the Editorial Board of the Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment, serves on the National Institute of Health’s Health Services Organization and Delivery Study Section, and the Board of Directors of the Baltimore Substance Abuse Treatment Systems, the agency responsible for the public sector substance abuse treatment system in Baltimore, Maryland. Dr. Schwartz is currently Principal Investigator of three National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) funded clinical trials.



Honorable Robert P. Ziemian
Prior to his appointment as a Judge of the Massachusetts Trial Court in 1989, Judge Ziemian, a former Naval Aviator and Test Pilot, was a Criminal Lawyer who successfully prosecuted two of Massachusetts’ most notorious homicide cases in the mid 1980's. 

Because of his longtime interest in combining drug treatment, prevention, and enforcement resources in a united attack on substance abuse, he implemented in 1995 the first Drug Diversion Court in Massachusetts. He has been instrumental in training other Judges, establishing more than seventy Drug Courts in Massachusetts and New England. In 2007,  he and his South Boston Drug Court were featured in the HBO Emmy Winning Documentary “Addiction.” 



Project Sponsors   About the Grant
  Adult Drug Court Research to Practice Initiative is a cooperative agreement awarded to the National Center for State Courts with the School of Public Affairs at American University.  It is co-funded by the Bureau of Justice Assistance and the National Institute of Justice, Office of Justice Programs, U.S. Department of Justice.

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