Peer Washington's Staff Newsletter
For this month, I'd like to start with a call to action! A highlight on practical self-care activities directly from our staff, which may be used for social media. I want to hear your VERY BEST bubble bath setups. Do you have a personal favorite bath bomb? Essential oils? Candle set-up? If anything has really worked for you in the past, I want to hear about it. If anything is specific to your own journey of recovery or mental health, all the better! Click HERE to submit any ideas; there is also a space for any other self-care rituals that you'd like to highlight. If you have any ideas, PLEASE do not hesitate to submit them; any contributions whatsoever are greatly appreciated.
If you have feedback regarding what you'd like to see in our newsletter, please submit it HERE.
Quick Links & Stories
Februaray is Black History Month
February 12th: Chinese New Year (The Year of the Ox)
February 18th: Join us playing Skribbl.io for our Staff Connection meeting! Learn more about Skribbl.io HERE.
February 20th: Happy Birthday to Jennifer Bolton!
February 23rd: International Dog Biscuit Day. Check it out HERE for some dog biscuit recipes for your fur babies.
Tune of the Month
February 6th marks the birthday of the incomparable Natalie Cole. She had her own journey of drug addiction and recovery highlighted in her compelling autobiography "Angel on My Shoulder".
As a homosexual with questionable taste in reality television, I'd also feel remiss if I didn't mention Dida Ritz's lipsync of "This Will Be (An Everlasting Love)" right in front of Natalie herself before her passing.
Javan Jones and Drug Diversion Court
Article by our own Bert highlighting our staff and services
At 47 years old, Peer Kent Program Manager Javan Jones, walks with confidence
into the courtroom at King County Regional Courthouse. This is a full circle
moment for a man who knows the judicial system inside and out.
Jones has no problem telling people about his past. It includes poverty,
homelessness and prison time. It also includes service in the US military, a college
degree and business owner. Jones has a wealth of experience and knowledge that
makes him uniquely qualified to run Peer Kent’s Jail Health Services contract with
the Criminal Justice Service.
Under the contract, Javan coordinates and advocates for inmates in the King
County Drug Diversion Court. While the King County Diversion Court has been
successful in helping people to get back on track, Jones feels there was a vital
piece missing to it. “Drug court has the punitive representation, the case
management/therapeutic representation, but no one had yet brought in recovery
representation, “says Jones, “Peer Kent is the missing recovery piece that can
truly make a difference for people.”
Jones is deeply committed to making this work. He attends King County Drug
Diversion Court in Seattle and Kent and his team works closely with the judges,
attorney’s (both prosecuting and defense) and with the case managers. Together,
before court even begins, judge, attorneys, case manager and Peer Kent, meets
behind closed doors and tracks each defendant’s progress and plan moving
forward. “This is the time when we can speak for the person in jail, and help them
come up with ways of support, “says Jones. Of particular value is one of the core
pillars of Peer Kent, having people with lived experience walk side by side with
those seeking help.
It works because of the trust Jones has built with the drug court. Now Jones
continues to build his own team, with new Peer Kent employees with lived
experience, who will also help others navigate the judicial system and sobriety.
But as Jones points out, always at the forefront, is the person in jail. Those men
and women who may never have received a helping hand, free of cost and
judgement, who now have a safe place/person for advice and guidance.
When Jones is asked, “why do you do this difficult work?” Jones replies, “the job
chose me- the job chose me.”