White House Office of National Drug Control Policy Awards $1.4 Million Grant to Support Diversion of Non-Violent Drug Offenders into Treatment
New Grant to Improve Training for Professionals Working to Support Innovative Drug Courts and Other Treatment Courts
(Washington, D.C.) – Today, Gil Kerlikowske, Director of National Drug Control Policy, awarded the National Association of Drug Court Professionals (NADCP) a $1.4 million grant to help improve efforts to divert non-violent drug offenders into treatment instead of prison. The grant, which will support training for drug court professionals across the Nation, was announced during Kerlikowske’s keynote remarks on drug policy reform at the National Press Club.
The nationwide expansion of drug courts represents one of the most important pieces of criminal justice reform in decades. By combining treatment with incentives and escalating sanctions, mandatory and random drug testing, and aftercare, drug courts have been shown to reduce substance use, incarceration rates, and recidivism as well as save taxpayer dollars. Today, there are more than 2,700 drug courts in operation across the United States, diverting approximately 136,000 offenders annually away from prison and into treatment.
“Drug courts are a key component of our efforts to reform drug policy in America,” said Kerlikowske. “By giving non-violent drug offenders a chance to reclaim their lives through treatment, we can finally begin to break the cycle of drug use, crime, and incarceration in America. Every dollar we spend on supporting this type of drug policy reform pays dividends in safer and healthier communities later on.”
“After over twenty years of innovation Drug Courts have become a cornerstone of evidence-based drug policy reform,” said NADCP CEO West Huddleston. “Across the nation, policymakers are turning to Drug Courts because of their unparalleled success; from saving money to saving lives, reducing recidivism to easing racial disparities in the criminal justice system. NADCP is honored to work with the White House Office on National Drug Control Policy to expand these critical programs. When addiction leads to arrest – be it a veteran, mother, grandparent, or teen – we must ensure that Drug Courts are available to keep people out of jail and in treatment where they can reclaim their lives and once again be productive citizens.”
In addition to supporting drug court training and technical assistance, the grant will support specialized training materials geared toward the appropriate use of Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT) for pregnant women Research demonstrates an increased need for effective treatment and for this population. A 2012 national study showed reports of hospital discharges of opioid dependent women following childbirth increased from in 1.19 in 1000 births in 2002 to 5.63 in 1000 births in 2009[i].
The NADCP is a national non-profit 501(c)(3) corporation composed of judges, prosecutors, defense attorneys, and clinical professionals. The group provides comprehensive training and cutting-edge technical assistance to the entire Drug Court field. Since its inception, the NADCP has trained more than 36,000 drug court professionals in all 50 States and U.S. territories as well as seven other countries.
For more information about criminal justice reform and the Obama Administration’s 21st century approach to drug policy, visit: WhiteHouse.gov/ONDCP
The Office of National Drug Control Policy seeks to foster healthy individuals and safe communities by effectively leading the Nation’s effort to reduce drug use and its consequences.
[i] Neonatal abstinence syndrome and associated health care expenditures: United States, 2000-2009. Patrick SW, Schumacher RE, Benneyworth BD, Krans EE, McAllister JM, Davis MM. JAMA. 2012 May 9;307(18):1934-40. doi: 10.1001/jama.2012.3951. Epub 2012 Apr 30. PMID: 22546608