Arin Starzyk

German Shepard

At the National District Attorneys Association (NDAA) Victims Committee meeting in November 2011, I attended a fascinating presentation by Courthouse Dogs on the use of facility dogs in the courtroom. I had never heard of using a dog to calm victims and witnesses. As I listened to the presentation, I thought about how having a… Read More


Supreme Court

The GAINS Center interviewed Judge Christine Carpenter, Circuit Judge of Division One in the 13th Judicial Circuit, Columbia, MO about what it’s like presiding over a trauma-informed court. Judge Carpenter is the supervising judge for the 13th Judicial Circuit Alternative Sentencing Courts: Adult Drug Court (since 1999), Mental Health Court (since 2003), Re-Entry Court (2007-2013),… Read More


Hands Holding NewsPaper

8:30 am            Sit down at my desk with a steaming cup of vanilla-flavored coffee and sort through my emails. After I finish with the emails in my inbox, I move onto the GAINS Center inbox. We get inquiries of all sorts – from how/where to get help for criminal-justice involved persons with behavioral health issues… Read More


Barbed Wire

Relatively few of the diversion programs developed in response to the overrepresentation of people with mental illness in the United States criminal justice system have targeted initial arraignment or first appearance courts. In 2010, the Legal Aid Society piloted the Misdemeanor Arraignment Project (MAP) in New York City Criminal Court through funding from the Langeloth… Read More