530 Fund enables training and education opportunities for Dallas County specialty courts
The 530 Fund, named from H.B. No. 530, is generated from the intoxication fees added to misdemeanor and felony drug-related convictions. Representatives from all certified Dallas County specialty courts manage the 530 Fund Committee.
The Criminal Justice Department provides administrative oversight and offers technical assistance to the subcommittee. This includes recommending best practices, offering guidance on Dallas County policies and working with the 530 Fund Committee to track budgets, processes payments and host trainings.
The 530 Fund’s resources encourage and support certified specialty courts in numerous ways. Throughout fiscal year 2019, the funds have supported courts through high-quality, cost-effective training and education. For example, the 530 Fund Committee devoted approximately $29,000 from the 530 Fund to bring nationally-recognized experts to Dallas and host and/or fund six trainings this year. Criminal Justice Department employees coordinated trainings sponsored by the committee by securing presenters, contracts and publicity.
Trainings sponsored by the 530 Fund Committee in fiscal year 2019 included:
- Tall Cop (March 2019): Nationally-recognized expert provided tools, resources and training to combat substance abuse
- Texas Association of Specialty Courts Annual Conference (April 2019): Three-day seminar on best practices for Specialty Courts
- Habilitation, Empowerment and Accountability Therapy (September 2019): Training on a nine-month curriculum targeting young men who have been failing in traditional criminal justice program interventions
- Cultural Responsivity (September 2019): Nationally-recognized experts presented on cultural proficiency and discussed cultural considerations, techniques and tools to be more impactful in working with diverse specialty court populations
Beyond hosting and funding trainings, the 530 Fund Committee distributes informational resources (e.g., information from the Office of the Governor, professional articles/literature/position papers, training stipend applications, etc.) to all certified courts (usually on a weekly basis) and attended community events.
Additionally, in 2019, 530 Funds were used to provide:
- Over $5,800 worth of incentives for six certified specialty courts
- 3,010 bus passes for specialty court participants
- 19 days of additional inpatient treatment beyond court-funded days
- Over $10,000 for 300+ specialized drug tests utilized by nine certified specialty courts