Reduced Sentences Urged for Non-Violent Drug Offenders

Pg2_72“The Justice Department is urging the U.S. Sentencing Commission to approve a measure that would make potentially thousands of non-violent drug offenders now serving time in federal prison eligible for reduced sentences.

Attorney General Eric Holder, who supported the commission’s April action to cut prison time for certain future drug offenses, is supporting a proposal set for a vote next month that would apply the changes retroactively for current inmates.

The commission has estimated that full retro-activity could apply to more than 50,000 of the more than 215,000 inmates in the overcrowded federal prison system. But the Justice Department is advocating for more limited eligibility, about 20,000.”

http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2014/06/10/reduced-sentences-drug
offenders/10272889/

Source: USAToday.com – June 10, 2014

E-mail Communication from AATOD President Mark Parrino on MAT for Opioid Addiction in the Criminal Justice System

AATOD“I am providing a link to an important letter to Attorney General Eric Holder, dated April 10, 2014, which was signed by sixteen US Senators. The Senators are urging the Attorney General to work with all of the branches in the Department of Justice to utilize the federally approved medications to treat opioid addiction “in combination with counseling”. “Specifically, the Department should initiate a multi-state program utilizing anti-addiction medications to support successful reentry into society of opioid addicted offenders from various correctional settings.” I know that you will join me in supporting this approach and clearly the sixteen Senators understand the benefit of providing access to Medication Assisted Treatment for opioid addiction in the Criminal Justice setting.”

The AATOD letter can be accessed at: http://www.aatod.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/Letter-to-AG-Holder-on-Prescription-opioid-and-heroin-addiction.pdf

Source: American Association for the Treatment of Opioid Dependence – April 28, 2014

Other National News of Interest

How Obamacare May Lower the Prison Population More Than Any Reform in a Generation

healthcare reform 2“While many have focused on the individual mandate, and the online (and glitchy) insurance exchanges, one of the most potentially impactful elements of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) has flown more or less under the radar. It may be the biggest piece of prison reform the U.S. will see in this generation.

The Justice Department estimates suggest that with the expansion of Medicaid, 5.4 million ex-offenders currently on parole or probation could get the health care they need. (It’s important to note that 25 states plus Washington, D.C. have implemented the Medicaid expansion as of 2014. However, many policy experts expect the remaining states to fall in line, citing the historical example of how CHIP was initially rejected by many states when it rolled out in 1997, but is now utilized in every state in the country.)

Even with coverage, those ex-offenders will still need to actually utilize those health benefits, and the key will be making the connection at the time of release. The biggest challenge will be getting state justice systems and health systems – not exactly happy bedfellows in past years – to work together to create coordinated discharge planning between jails and community healthcare.”

http://www.newsweek.com/how-obamacare-may-lower-prison-population-more-any-reform-generation-230695

See related article from the George Washington University Milken School of Public Health –  Affordable Care Act Brings Crucial Health Coverage to Jail Population available at: http://sphhs.gwu.edu/content/affordable-care-act-brings-crucial-health-coverage-jail-population

See related article from the Fix – Obamacare Rolls Out, Transforming Addiction Coverage available at: http://www.thefix.com/content/obamacare-rolls-out-addiction-coverage-transforms

Source: Newsweek.com – March 10, 2014

Blog: What Health Care Reform Could Mean for Drug Policy and Mass Incarceration

healthcare reform 2“What does the Affordable Care Act (ACA) mean for drug policy?. A new issue brief – From Handcuffs to Healthcare — published by the Drug Policy Alliance (DPA) and the American Civil Liberties Union(ACLU) outlines how the ACA could help our country end the war on drugs and move toward a health-based approach to drug policy

This paper is intended as a starting framework for criminal justice and drug policy advocates to navigate the ACA, and to take advantage of the conceptual and practical opportunities it offers shifting the conversation and the landscape.

Part One of this paper describes some of the major provisions of the ACA relevant to our work: the health insurance requirement; the places many people will buy insurance, called health exchanges; Medicaid expansion; insurance coverage requirements for substance use and mental health disorders; and opportunities for improved models of coordinated care.

Part Two of this paper outlines a series of practical recommendations, including program and policy examples and suggested action steps, across three broad categories:

  • Ensuring access to care for people most likely to be steered into the criminal justice system under the current framework
  • Leveraging the ACA to reduce incarceration and criminal justice involvement
  •  Moving from a criminalization-based drug policy approach to one rooted in health

The Brief can be accessed at: http://www.drugpolicy.org/sites/default/files/Healthcare_Not_Handcuffs_12.17.pdf

Source: HuffingtonPost.com - December 3, 2013 and DrugPolicy.org – December 2013

Locked Up in America Infographic

jail croppedThe Criminal Justice Degree Hub has developed an infographic that shows that 46.8% of federal prisoners are incarcerated for drug offenses. Other statistics include yearly correctional spending by state and the number of prisoners by year.

http://www.criminaljusticedegreehub.com/locked-up-in-america/

Source: CriminalJusticeDegreeHub.com – October 2013

Study: Sending Nonviolent Drug Offenders to Treatment Instead of Prison Saves Money

“When it comes to nonviolent drug offenses, systems that favor treatment over incarceration not only produce better health outcomes, they save money, too. It’s yet another example of how investing in public health and prevention yields valuable returns on investment.

In a new study published in the June issue of the American Journal of Public Health (AJPH), researchers found that California’s Substance Abuse and Crime Prevention Act, which diverts nonviolent drug offenders from the correctional system and into treatment, saved a little more than $2,300 per offender over a 30-month post-conviction period. In fact, researchers estimated more than $97 million in savings for the 42,000 offenders affected during the first year of the law’s implementation. And even though the law resulted in spending more on treatment, health care services and community service supervision, bypassing incarceration still yielded overall savings, said study co-author M. Douglas Anglin, founding director of the UCLA Drug Abuse Research Center and associate director of the university’s Integrated Substance Abuse Programs.

According to a 2009 report from California’s Legislative Analyst’s Office, incarcerating a single offender costs California approximately $49,000 per year.”

http://scienceblogs.com/thepumphandle/2013/05/24/study-sending-nonviolent-drugs-offenders-to-treatment-instead-of-prison-saves-money/

Source: Scienceblogs.com - May 24, 2013

How to Make Drug Courts Work

Pg8_law“Drug courts have made a surprisingly small contribution to the crime reduction that has occurred over the past twenty years. They process only a small fraction of drug-involved offenders within the criminal justice system, and an even smaller fraction of offenders who commit serious crimes. Most chronic cocaine, heroin and methamphetamine users who reach court will end up in jail or prison, often for minor crimes.

Drug courts could be more helpful in reducing crime and incarceration, but only if they become more ambitious and less risk-averse by taking in populations likely to serve real time.”

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/wonkblog/wp/2013/04/26/how-to-make-drug-courts-work/

Source: WashingtonPost.com – April 26, 2013

A Day at the Drug Court

“Developed locally, their operations vary significantly. Defendants are diverted to drug court programs at various stages in the judicial process. And while many people arrested for non-violent offenses are eligible, prosecutors ultimately determine who gets offered the option of treatment. Participants must usually plead guilty as a prerequisite, and they’re drug tested throughout treatment. Judges can reward or punish their behavior: Incentives include certificates, cards and applause from the courtroom. Sanctions include admonishments, assigned essays, increased drug testing and court appearances, and, sometimes, a few days or weeks in jail.”

“Drug courts are one of the most important pieces of evidenced-based drug policy reform we have seen in generations,” US drug czar Gil Kerlikowske says in an email to The Fix. “By providing non-violent drug offenders with a chance to reclaim their lives through treatment rather than wasting away in prison, we save lives, save taxpayer dollars, reunite families, and reduce rates of incarceration. Decades of research and experience reveal that addiction—the underlying cause of too much crime in our communities—is a disease that can be successfully treated. Drug courts are what today’s discussion about drug policy should be about.”

http://www.thefix.com/content/drug-courts91363

Source: The Fix.com – March 5, 2013

Outside Box, Federal Judges Offer Addicts a Free Path

“Federal judges around the country are teaming up with prosecutors to create special treatment programs for drug-addicted defendants who would otherwise face significant prison time, an effort intended to sidestep drug laws widely seen as inflexible and overly punitive. The Justice Department has tentatively embraced the new approach, allowing United States attorneys to reduce or even dismiss charges in some drug cases.

The effort follows decades of success for “drug courts” at the state level, which legal experts have long cited as a less expensive and more effective alternative to prison for dealing with many low-level repeat offenders.

So far, federal judges have instituted programs in California, Connecticut, Illinois, New Hampshire, New York, South Carolina, Virginia and Washington. About 400 defendants have been involved nationwide.”

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/03/02/nyregion/us-judges-offer-addicts-a-way-to-avoid-prison.html?_r=1&

Source: NYTimes.com – March 2, 2013

Drug Abuse Treatment Could Save Billions in Criminal Justice Costs

Sending drug abusers to community-based treatment programs rather than prison could help reduce crime and save the criminal justice system billions of dollars, according to a new study by researchers at RTI International and Temple University.

Nearly half of all state prisoners are drug abusers or drug dependent, but only 10 percent receive medically based drug treatment during incarceration. Untreated or inadequately treated inmates are more likely to resume using drugs when released from prison, and commit crimes at a higher rate than non-abusers.

The study, published online in November in Crime & Delinquency, found that diverting substance-abusing state prisoners to community-based treatment programs rather than prison could reduce crime rates and save the criminal justice system billions of dollars relative to current levels. The savings are driven by immediate reductions in the cost of incarceration and by subsequent reductions in the number of crimes committed by successfully-treated diverted offenders, which leads to fewer re-arrests and re-incarcerations. The criminal justice costs savings account for the extra cost of treating diverted offenders in the community.

The findings were based on a lifetime simulation model of a cohort of 1.14 million state prisoners representing the 2004 U.S. state prison population. The model accounts for substance abuse as a chronic disease, estimates the benefits of treatment over individuals’ lifetimes, and calculates the crime and criminal justice costs related to policing, trial and sentencing, and incarceration.

The researchers used the model to track the individuals’ substance abuse, criminal activity, employment and health care use until death or up to and including age 60, whichever came first. They also estimated the benefits and costs of sending 10 percent or 40 percent of drug abusers to community-based substance abuse treatment as an alternative to prison.

According to the model, if just 10 percent of eligible offenders were sent to community-based treatment programs rather than prison, the criminal justice system would save $4.8 billion when compared to current practices. Diverting 40 percent of eligible offenders would save $12.9 billion.

The authors also address a concern common with diversion programs, which is that instead of being incarcerated, offenders are released into the community where they may commit additional crimes. Their analysis showed an immediate, short-lived increase in crimes, however, by the end of the first year, fewer crimes were committed, generating cost savings.

The study builds on previous research led by RTI indicating that increased investment in treatment for substance-abusing prisoners can reduce crime rates and cut criminal justice spending. In a study released earlier this year, Zarkin and colleagues found that increasing and improving prison-based drug treatment programs could save up to $17 billion in criminal justice system costs.

http://www.newswise.com/articles/study-replacing-prison-terms-with-drug-abuse-treatment-could-save-billions-in-criminal-justice-costs

Source: RTI International – January 9, 2013

Habit OPCO Helps Educate the Criminal Justice System about Medication-Assisted Treatment

Although it’s well known that many people wind up in the criminal justice system because they are addicted to opioids, there is still work to be done in educating the system about the value of medication-assisted treatment (MAT). Jonathon Wasp, MS, director of Pennsylvania operations for Habit OPCO opioid treatment programs (OTPs), has a background in management of addiction treatment in the correctional system, and is helping to do just that.

Mr. Wasp, formerly associated with MinSec, a private community correctional services provider focusing on behavioral health care, said that the criminal justice system—especially corrections—has made strides in recent years in recognizing the importance of addiction treatment.

“By reaching out to drug-treatment courts and probation and parole officers, and requesting an opportunity to speak with them about criminal justice and addiction, we are opening the doors,” he said. But there are still barriers. As much as criminal justice officials are aware of the fact that they have people who are addicted in probation, parole, and prisons and jails, many “don’t understand the neurobiology of addiction. The way they see it, these people could just stop. They are missing the science. If you don’t understand the basic concepts, you won’t understand how methadone is important in providing addiction treatment.”

Re-entry and Drug Courts

One focus of the Habit OPCO criminal justice initiative is re-entry—treating people who are about to be released from prison and were addicted to opioids prior to their incarceration. Under the federal guidelines, a patient who met the criteria for admission to an OTP immediately before incarceration can be admitted to a program, because incarceration is “forced remission,” he said. Forced abstinence is not the same as treatment, and federal studies have shown the value of admitting inmates into OTPs prior to their release, and continuing with treatment after release. So Habit OPCO is working with prison officials on getting inmates who were addicted to opioids into treatment before their release.

Another focus of Habit OPCO is preventing people from going to prison or jail by providing them treatment up front in collaboration with a drug court or probation. But focusing on this population also means that addiction treatment providers must educate themselves about “criminogenic” thinking and risks, he said, citing the work of Edward Latessa, PhD, who developed a correctional program checklist assessment—and this can be used in community corrections as well. (Community corrections are those that take place outside of prison or jail, such as with probation and parole.)

Addiction–Crime Overlap and Dichotomy

The overlap between addiction and criminal justice involvement is so big—as many as 80 percent of inmates are incarcerated because of a drug or alcohol problem—that the treatment and criminal justice systems should understand they are dealing with the same people, he said, adding that all addiction treatment providers should do a “risk-need-responsivity” assessment for criminal behavior. Substance abuse is one of the seven risks for criminal behavior under this model, first developed in the 1980s. Others include social isolation, poor education, and distrust of or lack of adherence to authority, he said. Interestingly, these risks are also relapse triggers.

“At the end of the day, not only are we serving the same people, but we’re supposed to be serving them in the same way—and we’re not. We never got away from the dichotomy that addiction treatment is for public health and criminal justice is for public safety.” The biggest danger of this dichotomy is that the criminal justice system “looks at treatment agencies as completely separate, and we don’t advance at all. So our purpose at Habit OPCO is to show that not only are we serving the same people, but we have the same vested interest.” Public safety is improved by people getting MAT, and that’s the message that he is taking to corrections, probation, and parole officials.

There is no reason to separate patients who are referred from drug courts or pretrial diversion—not convicted—from other patients in an OTP, he said. “They’re not incarcerated, they’re supervised by a probation officer.”

But it’s important to understand the different mindset of someone who is coming into an OTP after months of incarceration, he said. Even if they had been unfairly incarcerated, they were in the prison system, and that inevitably had an effect on them.

The ‘Substitution’ Question

Many criminal justice practitioners view methadone as a substitute for heroin, and while there is some truth in that, when we look at the neurobiology of opiate dependence, the substitution “debate” is overly simplistic. It ignores a substantial body of evidence that suggests that this treatment modality, which also provides extensive individual and group interventions, addresses the stressors and causes of addiction. At the same time, it ensures that the opiate dependent person is physiologically stabilized with a substance that does not provide the euphoric effects of heroin.

Mr. Wasp related a particularly poignant example of the need for education. A medical provider of correctional treatment services in Pennsylvania was looking for a provider for pregnant opioid-dependent women. So the prison physician toured an OTP. “I could tell he had something on his mind; I could tell from his body language,” said Mr. Wasp. “I said that methadone is a tool, part of the recovery process. But clearly my agenda and his were not in sync.

“So I asked him, ‘What did you expect to get from coming here today?’” The physician—whom Wasp declined to identify—responded, “How would you answer the question, which I will be asked by my superiors, ‘Why should we substitute these people’s heroin addiction on the taxpayer’s dollar?’” Mr. Wasp answered, “With all due respect, you’re going to pay one way or another.” He noted that treatment with MAT is much less expensive than being incarcerated.

Other ways Habit OPCO reaches out to the criminal justice system, in addition to providing tours for county correctional administrators and health care administrators, include:

1)    providing information to corrections, probation, and parole staff members by purchasing and staffing a booth at the Pennsylvania Probation Parole and Corrections annual state-wide conference;

2)    attending and presenting information to the Lackawanna County Criminal Justice Advisory Board (a board comprised of sentencing judges, county probation, county corrections, county investigators, the District Attorney’s office, and Pennsylvania state police);

3)    inviting our local state parole office to host their monthly staff meeting at our facility (encouraging parole agents to tour the facility while on site); and

4)    creating and presenting a four-hour training to county probation staff on the benefits of medication-assisted treatment with the criminal justice population.

“In many cases, we have handed out the AT Forum White Paper on medication-assisted treatment and criminal justice,” said Mr. Wasp. “In this day and age, with evidence-based practices being the buzz in criminal justice, it’s nice to be able to hand them the evidence in a well-done, prepackaged document.”

Because of his experience with the criminal justice system, Mr. Wasp sympathized with the physician who questioned the value of MAT. “There is not a single institution anywhere in this country where there’s not some level of a rub between the security professionals in a jail and the medical people,” he said. “Corrections officers believe that it’s their job to do custody and control. And there’s the treatment people, who say it’s their job to help people be more productive.”

Infographic: Why Drug Treatment is More Effective Than Incarceration

Infographics are graphic visual representations of information, data or knowledge that present complex information quickly and clearly.

http://www.rehabinfo.net/why-drug-treatment-is-more-effective-than-incarceration/

Source: www.RehabInfo.net

Local Judge Works to Fight Prescription Drug Abuse in Northeast Ohio

Scales of JusticeCuyahoga County Judge David Matia has overseen the county’s drug court for years. In his time working with folks struggling from addiction, he has noticed a disturbing trend.

“Sixty percent of the people in drug court are opiate dependent and of that sixty percent, half got their start by being treated for a medical condition,” said Matia.

According to Matia, research shows that in 1997, the average dosage for opiates was 7 pills. In 2010 that dosage sky rocketed to 67 pills.

http://www.newsnet5.com/dpp/news/local_news/oh_cuyahoga/local-judge-works-to-fight-prescription-drug-abuse-in-northeast-ohio

Source:  NewsNet5.com – June 11, 2012

Denying Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT) in the Criminal Justice System—Is It Legal?

Denying access to medication-assisted treatment (MAT) for opioid addiction has been a long-standing practice throughout the criminal justice system, with devastating consequences—unnecessary incarceration, increased spread of HIV, hepatitis, and other infectious diseases; drug overdose, sometimes fatal; and recidivism rather than recovery.

Many arrestees and inmates in U.S. facilities are addicted to opioids, yet a December 2011 report from the Legal Action Center says that the vast majority of jails and prisons fail to offer MAT as ongoing maintenance treatment, even when it’s recommended or prescribed by a treating physician. At an estimated cost of about $4,000 per year, MAT successfully reduces addiction and related criminal activity, allowing people to lead productive lives, support families, and pay taxes—rather than costing taxpayers as much as $40,000 annually for imprisonment.

But some probation and parole agencies prohibit MAT, and courts often require detoxification from methadone or buprenorphine before defendants can complete drug court requirements as an alternative to jail or prison.

The Legal Action Center report, Legality of Denying Access to Medication Assisted Treatment in the  Criminal Justice System, (see link) explains why withholding access to MAT at any level of the criminal justice system—correctional facilities, courts, and parole and probation boards—makes no sense, and can violate federal antidiscrimination laws and the United States Constitution.

For example, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 prohibit discrimination on the basis of disability, and require that each individual’s ability to take part in specific activities be evaluated objectively. Denying access to MAT at any level of the criminal justice system violates these Acts, whether denial is based on a blanket policy or carried out on a case-by-case basis, but without the required objective, individualized evaluation.

Moreover, jails and prisons that force those receiving MAT to detoxify without proper medical supervision and treatment risk violating the Constitution’s EighthAmendment prohibition on cruel and unusual punishment, or the Fourteenth Amendment Due Process clause. Thus, medical best practices continue to elude the vast majority of those who have an opioid use disorder and are unfortunate enough to come up against the criminal justice system. They’re being forced to taper or go to jail.

Access Denied!

Despite advocates’ attempts to work with judges and probation and parole boards, denied access continues. Some examples:

  • Drug court judges who believe in MAT, but rarely refer people for treatment because they feel pressure from district attorneys.
  • District attorneys concerned with what they view as public safety risks in granting outpatient versus residential treatment, and who regard MAT as having the risk of abuse or diversion.
  • Defense attorneys who have little information about what’s appropriate or needed for their clients, or an understanding of best practices in treating opioid addiction, and aren’t prepared to advocate for medication-assisted treatment.
  • Judges and drug court staff who “have a rule: we just don’t let people stay on methadone and graduate from drug court.”
  • The Federal Bureau of Prisons guidelines for treating opioid addiction that call for medically supervised detoxification (including with methadone), cognitive behavioral therapy, and drug abuse education—but do not recommend methadone maintenance treatment, and prohibit treatment with buprenorphine as maintenance therapy.

AT Forum spoke with Sally Friedman, legal director of the Legal Action Center and author of the Center’s report. Written at the request of the American Association for the Treatment of Opioid Dependence (AATOD), the report is being distributed to government and criminal justice agencies, and to consumer groups and advocacy organizations.

Litigation

“The report has focused significant attention on these discriminatory policies, but litigation is another key strategy to bring about the necessary change,” said Ms. Friedman. “Even a few federal court decisions holding criminal justice agencies liable for denying access to MAT could make a big impact.”

“The Legal Action Center is prepared to bring litigation when we find the right case,” said Ms. Friedman—“someone who’s willing to challenge a criminal justice agency and willing to fight to the end of the litigation. We’d welcome hearing from people who’ve been forced off their addiction medications in order to take part in drug courts or other alternative sentencing programs, or by any other part of the criminal justice system.”

Potential cases may be a successful patient in an opioid treatment program (OTP) with a job and family who is picked up on an old warrant and told to taper or face jail; or one where a physician recommends MAT and the judge demurs. “MAT as a treatment option shouldn’t be off the table because of a judge’s misconception that it’s substituting one addiction for another, or because of overblown concerns about diversion,” Ms. Friedman said. “The point of the ADA and the Rehab Act is that the government should make decisions on the basis of objective medical evidence that applies to that individual, and not on the basis of stereotypes or broad generalizations. ADA case law is quite clear that people must be evaluated individually.”

Criminal justice agencies and courts who deny access to MAT despite a physician’s recommendation generally haven’t faced legal consequences. “Many courts have found that the ADA prohibits employment and zoning discrimination against people who need or receive MAT,” Ms. Friedman pointed out. “But courts have not yet addressed the question of whether the criminal justice system’s failure to provide or permit MAT violates the ADA or Rehabilitation Act. We think now is the time.”

Suggestions for OTPs

Helpful publications and audiovisual presentations from the Legal Action Center include Educating Courts, Other Government Agencies and Employers About Methadone (2009), a PDF explaining how people in MAT can advocate for their rights so they can get in or stay in treatment, without discrimination; and Know Your Rights: Are You in Recovery from Alcohol or Drug Problems? Rights for Individuals on Medication-Assisted Treatment (see link).

If an OTP patient is forced off of methadone or prohibited from enrolling despite the recommendations of a physician, an OTP Director can contact the Legal Action Center (phone: 212-243-1313 or 1-800-223-4044; fax: 212-675-0286; email: lacinfo@lac.org).

About the Legal Action Center

The only nonprofit law and policy organization in the U.S. whose sole mission is to fight discrimination against people with histories of addiction, HIV/AIDS, or criminal records, the Legal Action Center has for nearly four decades worked to combat stigma and prejudice and to help people reclaim their lives.

Legal Action Center Resources

Legality of Denying Access to Medication Assisted Treatment in the Criminal Justice System.
http://www.lac.org/doc_library/lac/publications/MAT_Report_FINAL_12-1-2011.pdf.
Accessed February 20, 2012.

Know Your Rights: Are You in Recovery from Alcohol or Drug Problems? Rights for Individuals on Medication-Assisted Treatment.
http://www.lac.org/doc_library/lac/publications/Know_Your_Rts_-_MAT_final,_9.28.10.pdf.
Accessed February 20, 2012.

Webinar: Medication-Assisted Treatment: Special Anti-Discrimination Issues.
http://lac.org/index.php/lac/webinar_archive. Accessed February 20, 2012.

Memo on Driving and Psychomotor Studies.
http://www.lac.org/doc_library/lac/publications/mmt-memo_on_driving_and_psychomotor_studies.pdf. Accessed February 20, 2012.

National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers. http://www.nacdl.org/. Accessed February 20, 2012.

Additional Resources

National Institutes of Health, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Principles of Drug Abuse Treatment for Criminal Justice Populations: A Research-Based Guide. Bethesda, MD: National Institute on Drug Abuse. Revised January 2012. NIH Publication No. 06-5316.
http://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/principles-drug-abuse-treatment-criminal-justice-populations. Accessed February 20, 2012.

Whitten L. Prison use of medications for opioid addiction remains low. NIDA Notes, Research Findings. 2011 (July);23(5). http://www.drugabuse.gov/NIDA_notes/NNvol23N5/Prison.html.
Accessed February 20, 2012.

Krantz MJ, Mehler PS. Treating opioid dependence: Growing implications for primary care. Arch Intern Med. 2004;164:277-288. http://archinte.ama-assn.org/cgi/content/abstract/164/3/277.
Accessed February 20, 2012.

Federal Agencies Join Forces to Award $13 Million to Enhance Drug Courts

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) and the Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA) at the U.S. Department of Justice announced in October ten new grant awards to enhance adult drug court services, coordination and treatment.  

Building on the drug court model, SAMHSA and BJA developed a funding approach for courts that simplifies the application process and improves coordination of the services designed to help people overcome addictions. The grants will be used to provide alcohol and drug treatment, recovery support services supporting substance abuse treatment, screening, assessment,  case management, and program coordination to adult defendants/offenders.

Under this program, grantees will receive two separate awards; BJA will fund the drug court component and SAMHSA will fund the substance abuse treatment component. 

http://www.samhsa.gov/newsroom/advisories/1110125550.aspx 

Source: Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration – October 12, 2011

Painting the Current Picture: A National Report on Drug Courts and Other Problem Solving Court Programs in the United States

The National Association of Drug Court Professionals (NADCP) National Drug Court Institute announced the release of Painting the Current Picture: A National Report on Drug Courts and Other Problem-Solving Court Programs in the United States on August 8.

Funded by the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP), in partnership with the Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA), U.S. Department of Justice, this comprehensive report compiles data from two national surveys of all US states, commonwealths, districts and territories for years 2008 and 2009.

“Painting the Current Picture contains a valuable snapshot of Drug Court and Problem-Solving Court operations,” said West Huddleston, NADCP CEO and co-author of the report. “There is a wealth of information contained in this report, and the data makes it abundantly clear why Drug Courts and Problem-Solving Courts continue to thrive despite the difficult economic times with which we are now faced.  This report is an important contribution to state and national justice reform efforts and I urge every justice professional, policymaker, community leader, legislator, educator, and concerned citizen to order or download a copy today.”

The report can be accessed at: http://www.ndci.org/publications/publication-resources/painting-current-picture.

Source: National Association of Drug Court Professionals – August 8, 2011

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