Today, Deputy Director of the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP), Jim Carroll announced a two-year grant (FY 2019 – FY 2020) valued at $4,000,000 for the National Association of Drug Court Professionals (NADCP) to provide training and technical assistance to drug courts across the Nation. These critical grants support President Trump’s commitment to stop opioid abuse, aligning with the work of the President’s Initiative to Stop Opioid Abuse and Reduce Drug Supply and Demand.  Mr. Carroll, along with Assistant to the President and Senior Counselor Kellyanne Conway, and the U.S. Surgeon General Dr. Jerome Adams, hosted a roundtable discussion at the White House with the NADCP leadership, drug court judges, and drug court graduates.

“Drug Courts are one of the best ways to help people with substance use disorders who become involved in the criminal justice system,” Carroll said. “I’ve seen what a difference drug court participation can make in someone’s life. Support for drug courts helps participants get the addiction treatment they need.”

“Drug courts are so effective because they break through the stigma surrounding addiction, provide a constructive path forward, and offer an opportunity at a second chance,” Conway said. “They meld together accountability and opportunity – providing a sense of hope and aspiration for people investing in rebuilding their lives.”

“I’ve seen first-hand the effectiveness of drug courts as they provide an array of recovery support services for those suffering from an addiction,” said Dr. Adams.  “Drug courts merge a public health approach into law enforcement interactions.  The best drug courts set realistic standards, and help participants address education, job training and housing issues.  This is what stigma reduction and cutting-edge public policy progress looks like.”

Background on the Drug Courts

From the National Association of Drug Court Professionals (NADCP) Factsheet:  “Drug Courts are judicially-supervised court dockets that strike the proper balance between the need to protect community safety and the need to improve public health and well-being; between the need for treatment and the need to hold people accountable for their actions; between hope and redemption on the one hand and good citizenship on the other. Drug Courts keep nonviolent drug-addicted individuals in treatment for long periods of time, and supervise them closely. Clients receive the treatment and other services they require to stay clean and to lead productive lives, but they are also held accountable by a judge for meeting their own obligations to society, themselves and their families. They are regularly and randomly tested for drug use, required to appear in court for the judge to review their progress, and receive rewards for doing well and sanctions for not living up to their obligations. The scientific community has put Drug Courts under its microscope and concluded that, for individuals with substance use disorders , Drug Courts work better than jail or prison, better than probation, and better than treatment alone. Drug Courts significantly reduce drug use and crime and do it cheaper than most other justice strategies for those involved in the criminal justice system. The success of Drug Courts has spawned new generations of problem-solving court programs that are successfully confronting emerging issues for our nation.”