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Today marks the opening of the National Association of Drug Court Professionals 18th Annual Drug Court Training Conference in Nashville, where 4,000 criminal justice professionals will meet to learn, engage, share, and participate in one of the most significant trends in our country: therapeutic jurisprudence.

It’s a fancy phrase that describes a substantial, systemic paradigm shift in the management of drug- and alcohol-involved criminal offenders. Amidst the nail-em-and-jail-em and the three-strike sentencing laws of the 1980s and ’90s, drug courts have persevered and even proliferated. Today, they hold center stage as a model for how it’s possible, through research, education, and hard work, to actually re-engineer an entire system and serve everyone better in the process. The drug court model—which focuses resources and efforts on managing the root issue of addiction that plagues the vast majority of criminal offenders—has literally changed the world.

And the metrics for success? In this blog we’ve often commented about the different metrics that groups use to “measure success” and validate progress in the battle against alcohol- and drug-involved crime. The metrics vary, and they often conflict. But NADCP has worked tirelessly to evaluate and educate, and these programs manage to meet and exceed every metric, across the board. Independent, peer-reviewed research shows again and again that courts that utilize the true drug court model reduce long-term recidivism. They reduce the costs of offender management. They reduce the costs of future crime. They relieve the burden on overcrowded prison and jail facilities. They reduce the financial and criminal impact on local communities. They change families. They change lives.

NADCP also had the foresight and vision to take the first proven model and replicate it—to better serve the most at-risk and in-need individuals in our communities. Today you’ll find DWI Courts, Domestic Violence Courts, Indigent Courts, Mental Health Courts, Veterans Treatment Courts, Family Courts, and many more specialized programs in every community and virtually every county in the U.S.

At the center of it all has been NADCP, an organization we are proud to sponsor and a team of professionals we’re proud to learn from every single day. They embody the best of a professional association, educating, advocating, lobbying, advising, and leading. In today’s vernacular of budget cuts, staff cuts, tax cuts, furloughs, overcrowded facilities, and backlogged courts, the economic impact of NADCP and the drug court model cannot be overstated.

If you’re at #NADCP2012 this week, please stop by the SCRAM booth. Beyond some great contests and giveaways and the usual information about our technology, we’re also excited to share some of the latest alcohol offender data and trends we’ve amassed and analyzed as part of our 200k Insight Series. You can also keep track of all the news and events from the show on the #NADCP2012 Tweet Wall. Enjoy!

Sobering Up Administrator

Sobering Up Administrator

Sobering Up: A blog about drunk driving, alcohol addiction, and criminal justice, is anything but a corporate blog. Sobering Up is an opportunity for anyone interested or involved in the issues of drunk driving, alcohol-fueled crime, alcohol dependence and addiction, and the justice system to participate in the conversation.

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