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57 minutes | Dec 6, 2018
Justice Speaks Podcast Episode #35
New Zealand’s Alcohol and Other Drug Treatment Courts – Justice Speaks Podcast Judges Lisa Tremewan and Ema Aitken are the founders of the New Zealand Alcohol and Other Drug Treatment Courts (AODTC). The late Chief Judge, Russell Johnson, sent a delegation of judges to the National Association of Drug Court Professionals’ annual training conference in 2009. Judge Tremewan describes it as a “profound experience.” Judge Aitken thereafter attended a conference in Australia and learned of the research that had been done on these types of courts. They decided they would take leadership in establishing such courts in New Zealand. Judges Lisa Tremewan, Peggy Hora (Ret.) and Ema Aitken. The First National Conference In 2010 there was a conference in Auckland to introduce the concept of treatment courts to the justice system and three years later the first treatment courts opened in Auckland and Waitakere. They had enthusiastic support from the Ministry of Health and some resistance from the Ministry of Justice. From the beginning, treatment providers have been the most supportive of the AODTCs. Now, however, the national prosecution has “done a 180” and are key supporters. They did a “snapshot” of offenders in the AODTC and, on a given day, found that prior to entry into the treatment court participants had committed 911 offenses; since they had been in the court the number fell to 9 new offenses. From that survey it was clear that recidivist offenders were the correct target. In New Zealand, unlike other countries, it is unusual for judges to take the lead in an initiative, but these judges were convinced that the evidence was clear that these courts worked for high risk/high need offenders. At first, it was counter-intuitive and felt too risky to target offenders headed to prison with horrendous histories of re-offending, but they kept their “eye on the long game.” The AODTC was clearly an alternative to prison which costs $100,000 per inmate per year in New Zealand. Admission Criteria for the Court Anticipating more applicants than the 100 that currently can be served by the two courts, entry criteria were established through a static risk score that is reasonably reliable except for the recidivist drink driver (DWI/DUI). There are also weighing factors for admission to address social needs. Those factors are: Does the potential participant have children? What is the public safety risk? Is there is a history of family violence as a victim or perpetrator? Does the person identify as Maori? This particular factor acknowledges the over-representation of Maori in the criminal justice system and pays respect to the heritage and history of New Zealand. A unique feature of the AODTC is the presence of the Pou Oranga (Maori cultural advisor) The Maori Cultural Advisor/Pou Oranga A unique feature of the New Zealand AODTC not found anywhere else in the world is the presence of the Pou Oranga (Maori cultural advisor) as part of the AODTC team. The Pou Oranga has developed a cultural framework that creates a guide for culturally meaningful and responsive practices in the AODTC. This helps address the gross disproportional representation of Maori in the justice system. The Pou Oranga provides cultural input at team meetings as well as treatment recommendations since he is a certified counselor. He coordinates with the treatment providers and is himself 26 years clean and sober. He is an excellent male Maori role model and an integral part of the court. Support from AA/NA/AlAnon The courts also have tremendous support of Alcoholics Anonymous, Narcotics Anonymous and AlAnon. There has been someone from the Fellowship in every session of the over 600 sittings of the AODTC to offer support and hope. The Election of 2016 New Zealand now operates with a coalition government made up of the Labour Party, Green Party and New Zealand First Party. The first two specifically included expansion of the AODTCs in their platforms. The current Prime Minister, Jacinda Arden, visited the AODTCs before her election. The Minister of Justice, Andrew Little, is also quite supportive of rolling out the AODTCs throughout the country in 2019. The Second National Conference On 24 and 25 January 2019, there will be a second national training conference at the University of Auckland entitled “Future Directions of Aotearoa’s Alcohol and Other Drug Treatment Court – Te Whare Whakapiki Wairua.” There will be a range of speakers from the United States, Australia, the United Kingdom and New Zealand. They will also launch the Australasian and Pacific Association of Drug Court Professionals at the conference. How Working in the AODTC is Transforming Judges Tremewan and Aitken have found their work in the AODTC professionally and personally transformative. They say working in the AODTC: As a judge, it brings more meaning to your work It is far more rewarding and interesting that business as usual It is a privilege to witness change Working collaboratively is enriching It is both challenging and rewarding to lead change This work makes the community safer It is humbling work to see the strength of character it takes for participants to reach recovery AODTC day is the best day of the judicial calendar The post Justice Speaks Podcast Episode #35 appeared first on Justice Speakers Institute.
62 minutes | Nov 15, 2018
Justice Speaks Podcast Episode #34
Dr. Robert DuPont Talks Chemical Slavery – Justice Speaks Podcast 50 years ago, Robert DuPont, M.D. started working in a state prison as a psychiatrist to see if he could make a difference in those prisoners’ lives. As he discusses in this episode of Justice Speaks, he recognized fairly early on that the rise in crime was directly tied to the increase of the heroin epidemic. It was that early recognition and the efforts that followed that brought Dr. DuPont to national prominence as the First Director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) [link] and the second White House Drug Chief, which is now part of the Office of the National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) [link] office. Dr. Robert DuPont In this episode of Justice Speaks, JSI Vice President David Wallace discusses with Dr. DuPont his lifelong effort to combat the issue of substance use disorders as well as his latest book, Chemical Slavery: Understanding Addiction and Stopping the Drug Epidemic. Early On When Dr. DuPont first started out in the District of Columbia’s prison system, he found a connection between the increase in crime and the increase in heroin. Not someone to sit by the side, Dr. DuPont looked into what would work with dependent individuals and based on that investigation, with the support of the mayor of Washington D.C., Dr. DuPont implemented one of the first ever methadone clinics in 1970. In the first three years, they treated 15,000 individuals who were dependent on heroin, and in the process reduced the crime rate by half, and deaths due to overdoses were reduced from 70 to 4. As Dr. DuPont states, it was “a pretty wonderful public health demonstration of a serious social problem.” From that phenomenal start, both the White House and Congress recognized that Dr. DuPont was someone who should be working at the national level, and he became the second White House Drug Chief and the First Director of NIDA. Drug Policy As Dr. DuPont notes, the thought that this is either a criminal justice problem or a public health problem misses the point. Both can work together, and both can have a role in supporting people to achieve recovery. Without the criminal justice effort to reduce supply we would be awash with drugs, and the justice system can be a road towards recovery, such as with Drug Treatment Courts. Treatment can work, but a “voluntary drug treatment system is about as effective as a voluntary penal system.” It is the leverage of the justice system that keeps users involved with treatment. The brain becomes hijacked and the person has to continue using the drug. Then and Now In the 1960’s, the discussion focused on heroin; today the discussion is on opioids and prescription medications. However, the problem today is not specifically an opioid problem, but a poly-drug problem. According to Dr. DuPont, 95% of the people who die from drug overdoses have more than one drug in their system, including marijuana and alcohol. The poly-drug problem is evident in drug overdoses as well as in individuals who are stopped for drugged driving. Rarely has the person used only one substance. The Hijacked Brain Using chemicals stimulate brain reward intensely for “pleasure.” As Dr. DuPont states, it is ironic that the drug use is supposed to be for pleasure because, in the end, the result is misery. The brain becomes hijacked and the person has to continue using the drug, despite significant life problems and also dishonesty. The person becomes dishonest to themselves as well as to family and friends so he or she can continue using. These two features (continued use despite adverse consequences and dishonesty) demonstrate the serious and significant tenacity of the person’s substance use disorder. According to Dr. DuPont, the disease is “cunning, baffling, and powerful.” The brain has been changed. In other words, the “brain falls in love with the chemical.” However, thanks to science, with new technology and research developed over the past 50 years, we have significantly advanced the treatment efforts. 2018 Today’s drug problem is even more concerning to Dr. DuPont than it was 50 years ago. “Business” people, individuals who are looking for the quick dollar in the illegal market, are now promoting more drugs and even new drugs that are all cheaper and more easily delivered. It is that combination that demonstrates the true threat. Dr. DuPont’s book, Chemical Slavery Chemical Slavery The title of Dr. DuPont’s book demonstrates that the substance dependent person is a slave to the substance. The person using the chemical becomes a different person. Thanks to the growth and evolution of recovery, Dr. DuPont’s book is about those who have come out on the other side of the substance use disorder. Today’s society has a massive recovery community supporting others and leading the way. Dr. DuPont believes that the book can be useful in raising the discussion and providing important information from his perspective. He approaches the book with two focuses: 1) What is the disease of addiction? and 2) What should be done about the epidemic? Both sections chronicle the private effort and a public effort. Dr. DuPont notes that he was present in the White House when NIDA and the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) were created; he knows the leaders of NIDA, DEA, and the ONDCP. He has also been a practicing psychiatrist for 50 years interacting with his patients, learning what makes a difference in their lives over time. He brings to this book those experiences and the knowledge he gleaned over the last 50 years that he hopes will be useful. Questions to Ask To get the true perspective of a substance use disorder, Dr. DuPont suggests that we ask those individuals we know who are in recovery three specific questions: What was your life like when you were using? What happened to get you to stop? What event? What is your life like now? A person’s life in recovery is many times better than it ever was before, even before the drug use. Typically having confronted that chemical slavery, the person has become a better person because of the challenges he or she overcame. A great example of overcoming challenges is listening to participants at a Drug Treatment Court graduation. Dr. DuPont notes that we should respect the person whether or not they are using, but the drug use itself deserves social disapproval. Most importantly, he states that we give great respect to the person in recovery who is “emancipated from the slavery.” Prevention Over the years, prevention has made a difference for our youth and it can have a significant impact on adult substance use disorders. Over 90% of adult substance use disorders started in the person’s teenager years when the brain is the most vulnerable to chemicals. There is the conclusion that the “war on drugs” has failed which usually means we should make drugs legal. However, the effort hasn’t failed. Of course, there are other and additional ways to respond, but it is vital to understand that prevention has worked for millions of people as well as treatment. Remember, that as a global society, there has never been this kind of issue—the modern drug epidemic where we have multiple drugs with high potency and widely spread in the population. It has never happened before. It is important to note that there has been a significant increase in the number of teenagers abstaining from alcohol or other drugs. Because of the teenager’s vulnerable brain, prevention is all about discouraging adolescents to use alcohol, nicotine or marijuana. In 1983, only 3% of high school seniors had not tried alcohol, nicotine or cigarettes. In 2017, that increased to 26%. The dangers of alcohol and other drugs have been discussed and emphasized and it is having an impact. To continue the effort of prevention, Dr. DuPont recommends that parents talk to their children and promote the idea that no drug –nicotine, alcohol, marijuana or other drugs – should be used at any time. Make it a simple choice for teens – don’t use any drugs. Once they start using one, it becomes easier to use the next and the next and the next. The standard for teen health is clear—no alcohol or other drugs—and parents need to set the standard. To obtain Dr. DuPont’s book, Chemical Slavery, click here.  Throughout the discussion, Dr. DuPont uses the term “addiction” instead of the phrase “substance use disorder.” He notes that the people who are addicted use that term and he will continue to use the same term they use. Watch part of the discussion here The post Justice Speaks Podcast Episode #34 appeared first on Justice Speakers Institute.
36 minutes | May 3, 2018
Justice Speaks Podcast Episode #33
Students Against Destructive Decisions – Justice Speaks Podcast In the episode of Justice Speaks, JSI Co-Founder David Wallace, AKA the Traffic Safety Guy, speaks with Rick Birt, CEO and President of SADD (Students Against Destructive Decisions). SADD’s Focus SADD has been in existence for over 30 years and initially it focused on drunk driving, as it had been called Students Against Drunk Driving. However, the organization has expanded beyond that narrow focus to recognize that teens today have a variety of serious issues they have to deal with beyond impaired driving and other traffic safety issues, such as bullying and the opioid epidemic. SADD now has three broad areas of focus – Traffic Safety; Substance Abuse; and, Personal Health and Safety. The overall goal is to keep teens informed so they can ultimately live the rich full live they deserve. There are SADD chapters in every state of the union and all of the territories and even some in New Zealand. SADD is an organization of caring students who work on projects and programs in their local communities with SADD National acting as a clearinghouse of best practices and other resources to educate and support teens all over the country. SADD National has the bottom line of letting teen-to-teen interaction change behavior and encourage increased leadership in the local community. Rick Birt Mr. Birt started out as a SADD student when he was in high school. Then recognizing the positive impact he could make beyond his community through SADD, he interacted with the Ohio Department of Safety to make a difference. In 2014, Rick joined the national organization’s staff and in February of 2018, he was appointed as the CEO and President of SADD. Since then, the main offices moved from their historic location in Boston to just down the street from the White House in Washington D.C. allowing SADD to effectively work with the Department of Transportation and the White House to increase teen involvement. As Rick noted, SADD’s efforts have always been about the students and the important work ahead. Rick Birt, CEO and President of SADD Traffic Safety Distracted Driving One of SADD’s latest efforts was a focus on Distracted Driving. April was Distracted Driving Awareness Month. It is concerning just how frequent teens are distracted when driving. According to research from SADD, almost 30% of teens in the past 30 days were texting while driving, and a whopping 70% have used an app while driving. SADD’s goal is to educate not only the teens but also the parents of teens and the rest of the community about the risks of distracted driving. In that endeavor, SADD teamed up with a new organization called TextLess; Live More. TextLess; Live More is an organization that works on peer-to-peer prevention, so it shares resources and programing material at the school and community level. But the larger message is not only about not texting and driving, but to stop staring down at a screen and live life to the fullest; to occasionally unplug from technology. But it is important to know that traffic safety is much more than distracted driving. It is about making the right decision in putting on a seat belt, not drinking and driving, and getting enough sleep so as to not drive drowsy. Drowsy Driving Drowsy Driving has become another important topic with 1 in 10 teens falling asleep behind the wheel in the last thirty days. This issue requires parents to recognize the difference between what they think how sleep their teen is getting, versus what the teen is getting in reality. Parents think their teen is getting enough sleep, but when you add in homework, and using technology, teens are not getting the sleep they need. This topic also requires Teens to recognize that “sleep is not a bank account.” They need to stay well rested or they are putting themselves and everyone else at risk. 100 Deadliest Days Coming soon will be information on the SADD website dealing with the 100 deadliest traffic safety days for teens: Memorial Day to Labor Day. SADD will have resources for this push to ensure that teens and parents have the knowledge and tools to be safe while on the road during the summertime. Teens recognized that there are other issues that also have to be discussed such as bullying, teen suicide, mental health, eating disorders, stress and anxiety. Substance Abuse According to the National Safety Council (NSC) approximately 53,000 Americans lost their lives to the opioid epidemic and SADD is working to raise the awareness of the issue and demonstrate how it is affecting everyone. SADD chapters have hosted town hall meetings around the country, raising awareness and starting the discussion. The goal is to have a holistic community conversation; working work with doctors, schools and community leaders to have them cognizant of the facts and that there are alternatives that can be used for medications. SADD is also working to educate parents and how it is “typically an activity of access” where the teens have readily accessible medications at home. It is important to have a family discussion on the proper use and the parent’s expectations on using medication. SADD recognizes that the parents are important part of the process in educating teens. So, it is working to involve and educate the parents as well as the teens. For example, to remind the parents that when they drive, whether it is a teen or a pre-teen, there is another set of eyes watching them who will imitate them when they are able to drive. In all of the issue areas, parents have to be part of the conversation. This is true even when the teens try to push parents away. It takes an informed parent to keep their teens safe. Personal Health and Safety SADD’s growth into the Personal Health and Safety focus area came from local chapters. Teens recognized that there are other issues that also have to be discussed such as bullying, teen suicide, mental health, eating disorders, stress and anxiety. It was the teens speaking up and saying we need resources on these vital issues. SADD National responded and now has the information for teens. The larger message is not only about not texting and driving, but to stop staring down at a screen and live life to the fullest SADD National Conference Each year, SADD holds a national conference that is the largest youth based prevention event in the county. Hundreds and hundreds of students from all over the country come to the conference. The purpose of the conference is to empower teens with the information they need, thus teens plan the conference and determine the topics and speakers. This year the conference will be held in Tysons, Virginia (Outside of Washington D.C.) from June 24 through the 27th with one day to be hosted on Capital Hill for a congressional briefing on impaired and drugged driving. The overall conference is a chance for student leaders to come together, get the information, become informed and changed, and go back to share the message. To Learn More Ultimately, SADD’s message is that we can learn the most on how to inform and work with teens from teens and actually working side by side with them. To learn more about SADD, find a local chapter or how to get involved, go to SADD.org. The post Justice Speaks Podcast Episode #33 appeared first on Justice Speakers Institute.
40 minutes | Mar 22, 2018
Justice Speaks Podcast Episode #32
DUI offenders and CARS – Justice Speaks Podcast In this episode, JSI Co-Founder David Wallace speaks with Erin Holmes of the Foundation for Advancing Alcohol Responsibility (FAAR). Ms. Holmes is the Director of Traffic Safety Programs at FAAR. In our conversation, we discuss the Computerized Assessment and Referral System (CARS). CARS is a screening and assessment tool designed to help identify DUI (Driving Under the Influence) offenders who have both a substance use disorder and a mental health disorder. Over the years, there have been significant advances in reducing impaired driving Over the years, there have been significant advances in reducing impaired driving. However, there is still a significant percentage of individuals who continue to repeat this deadly crime by drinking too much and then driving. Unfortunately we have not addressed the underlying issues that push them to continue committing a DUI. One of the problems has been that many of the assessment tools were not validated with a DUI offender population; others do not screen for mental health issues beyond an alcohol use disorder. When such a person was evaluated, that tool would indicate the person is not a high risk offender since they usually had a job, family support of some sort and the person “just” had an alcohol disorder. However, research has found that 45% of repeat impaired drivers have a major mental health disorder in addition to a substance use disorder. This is known as a co-occurring disorder. Co-occurring disorders can be difficult to diagnose as the symptoms can be complex and the severity of the disorders can vary. A tool was needed that evaluated for both. CARS is that tool. The CARS tool is a completely electronic assessment tool. What is CARS? Developed by a team of researchers from Cambridge Health Alliance, a teaching affiliate of Harvard Medical School and with initial grant funding from NIAAA and continued funding from FAAR, CARS is designed to: Ask about signs and symptoms of mental health issues both within the past year and/or a lifetime. Identify specific mental health and substance use disorders for which a client is at risk. Generate a report that informs the user about a client’s treatment needs and provides appropriate referrals. The CARS tool is a completely electronic assessment tool that is available as free open source software. There are three versions of CARS that can be used: Full Assessment Screener Self-Administered Screener Click on the image to download the Infographic on CARS Once an assessment is completed, it generates an individual diagnostic report that provides information about the mental health disorder for which the person qualifies or is at risk as well as a summary of bio-psycho-social risk factors. Additionally a graphic is generated as part of the outcomes report that indicates where an individual is within a range of low to very high risk. Finally, CARS can provide a list of individually targeted referrals at the end of each report based on the person’s issues and zip code. (The referral list must be populated with treatment services that are available within the jurisdiction before CARS can be implemented.) Implementation The first implementation for CARS was as a randomized control trial done in two Massachusetts DUI programs. That effort resulted in the development of the screening tool. Since then, CARS was implemented in six pilot sites around the country and finally it was officially launched in June of 2017. It is now available to any court, probation department, or program free of cost. Currently there is only an English version available; however, a Spanish version of CARS is being developed. In addition, consideration is being given to developing a non-DUI specific version of CARS and to develop a web-based platform instead of utilizing software. There is also an effort to partner with the Emergency Medicine Foundation to pilot CARS in several emergency departments/systems throughout the country. The benefits of CARS are that it provides immediate diagnostic information for up to 20 major psychiatric disorders Benefits of CARS According to Ms. Holmes, the benefits of CARS are that it provides immediate diagnostic information for up to 20 major psychiatric disorders with a user-friendly report at the click of a button. It helps inform supervision and treatment personnel with vital information on a person’s mental state, and it can provide individually targeted referrals to appropriate treatment services. For More Information For more information about CARS, to obtain training to use it, or to download the software to use the tool, go to: www.carstrainingcenter.org The post Justice Speaks Podcast Episode #32 appeared first on Justice Speakers Institute.
16 minutes | Dec 21, 2017
Justice Speaks Podcast Episode #31
The Nuts and Bolts of Drug Testing – Justice Speaks Podcast Part 3 This episode of Justice Speaks focuses on drug testing collection best practices; participant identification, collection site, specimen collection, witnessed collections and valid specimens. Ensuring that the participant is the person providing the specimen is critical to proper collection. Courts and testing agencies cannot allow a different individual to take the place of the person who needs to be tested. Therefore verifying the donor’s identity is fundamental to any good collection procedures. Each time a participant reports for a drug or alcohol test, their identity must be confirmed. Regardless of how familiar a collector becomes with a participant, their ID should be checked each time they report. Proper collection is vital. It’s Evidence Drug test samples in the court setting must be considered a form of forensic evidence. Therefore Courts must create polices and procedures that control specimen handling including such considerations as chain of custody for any documents, sample containers and storage compartments. The collection site should be an area that is easily controlled and has only one entrance and exit. This area is designated for specimen collection only and is not open to the general public. Access to, and the number of individuals involved in, the processing of specimens should be kept to a minimum. The preferable design is a single stall with no accessible running water. A bluing agent should be added to the water in all toilets. This mitigates the chance of a participant substituting or adulterating a sample. Collecting the Specimen Sample collection is a critical component of an effective drug-testing program. The collection of valid samples is the necessary first step to an objective drug-testing program. Specimen retention is a crucial component of drug testing. The storage of samples, particularly urine or blood, can be difficult. If the delay between collection and testing is substantial, the court or agency will need to have an appropriate storage area to prevent drug degradation. The temperatures of any storage refrigerators or freezers should be periodically measured and recorded. Witnessing a collection is essential. All sample collections must be observed; those not witnessed are of little or no assessment value. To that end Courts must require that all specimen collection is witnessed in a gender appropriate manner. Chain of Custody For chain of custody reasons, the collection device is to be kept in full view of the collector at all times. All specimen containers must be clearly labeled with the participant’s name and a unique identifier. All collectors need to be trained about collection procedures. They also need to be properly trained on the testing equipment. It is imperative that manufacturer’s instructions are followed in order to ensure accuracy of test results. Staff collecting urine samples or performing urine tests should be trained directly by the manufacturer. Proper best practice collection procedures that are followed will limit or prevent participants from attempting to subvert the test and ensure an accurate test result. Footnotes  Brian MacKenzie, Judge (Ret.), David Wallace, JD., Drug Testing Manual 2nd Edition Michigan Association of Treatment Court Professionals, Lansing Michigan 2017  Ibid  Ibid  Ibid  Drug Testing: A White Paper of the American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM) 2013  Ibid  Drug Testing Manual 2nd Edition  Ibid  Ibid  Ibid The post Justice Speaks Podcast Episode #31 appeared first on Justice Speakers Institute.
15 minutes | Nov 30, 2017
Justice Speaks Podcast Episode #30
The Nuts and Bolts of Drug Testing – Part 2 – Justice Speaks Podcast Best practices for drug testing require frequent, random, long term, and comprehensive testing. This makes it more difficult for participants to use alcohol and other drugs between tests and ultimately, more likely for success in a Treatment Court program. Best practices for drug testing require frequent, random, long term, and comprehensive testing. Frequent Testing The use of most illegal and addictive drugs, depending upon the assay, (analysis of a sample to determine the presence, absence, or quantity of one or more drugs) can be discovered during a 24 to 72 hours period. Therefore, testing less than twice a week creates a gap that allows participants to use without being detected. Studies have established that courts that test more frequently reduce recidivism by 38 percent. Treatment Courts that test participants two or more times per week throughout the entire program produce significantly greater benefits including higher graduation rates and lower recidivism rates, and participants report that drug testing is one of the strongest factors in keeping them from using. Random Testing Not only must the drug testing be frequent, it must be random. This helps to ensure an effective drug testing program. Being random includes testing on weekends and holidays with the probability of being tested on weekends and holidays the same as being tested during the weekdays. For an accurate test, participants must provide a specimen no later than eight hours after being notified. But for drug tests with short windows of detection, like oral fluid tests, the participant must provide a sample within four hours of notification. Test for the full range of substances that are most likely to be used by your Treatment Court participants. Long Term Testing Next, drug testing should start upon entry into the program and continue with no interruptions until the day of graduation. Drug testing should be the last thing reduced or stopped in a program, as it is the most objective measure to ensure participants remain drug free. Participants have reported that long term testing helps them remain drug free. The research also supports long term testing of participants to be successful in the program. Comprehensive Testing Finally, when testing, you should test for the full range of substances that are most likely to be used by your Treatment Court participants or in your community. However, new substances of abuse are constantly being sought out by offenders in order to use without detection, therefore occasionally test for a wider range of potential drugs of abuse. That will aid you in keeping ahead of your participants and possibly determine what new substance(s) might be emerging. Effective alcohol and other drug testing provides the only objective measure of treatment effectiveness that Court staff have in assessing participant progress; everything else is opinion. The results of these tests provide the basis for the underlying pillars for participant success. If alcohol and other drug testing is not being conducted in accordance with existing best practices, then the integrity and success of your program could be at stake. Top Ten Drug Testing Tips Click here to get JSI’s publication on the Top Ten Drug Testing Tips for Implementation and Top Ten Drug Testing Tips for Observing Drug Testing. Drug Testing Nuts and Bolts – Part One To listen to Part One on the Nuts and Bolts of Drug Testing, click here. Footnotes:  Ibid Crosby, R., Carlson, G., Specker., Simulation of Drug Use and Urine Screen Patterns, Journal of Addictive Diseases, Vol. 22(3) (2003); DuPont, R., Griffin, D., Siskin, B., Shiraki, S., Katze, E., Random Drug Tests at Work: The Probability of Identifying Frequent and Infrequent Users of Illicit Drugs. Journal of Addictive Diseases, Vol. 14(3) (1995). Drug Courts: A Smart Approach to Criminal Justice, Office of National Drug Control Policy, May 31, 2011.  Shannon M. Carey, Ph.D., Michael W. Finigan, Ph.D., Kimberly Pukstas, Ph.D, Exploring the Key Components of Drug Courts: A Comparative Study of 18 Adult Drug Courts on Practices, Outcomes and Costs 42-42 (2011)  Ibid  Douglas B. Marlowe, J.D., Ph.D., Carson L. Fox, Jr., J.D., et al., Adult Drug Court Best Practice Standards Volume II, National Association Of Drug Court Professionals, Alexandria, Virginia, 2015. NOTE: The order and placement of the NADCP Best Practices has been modified for organizational purposes.  Ibid  Ibid  Ibid  Found at: https://www.ncjrs.gov/html/bja/honestchance/chp6c.html  Adult Drug Court Standards, Vol. II, supra. The post Justice Speaks Podcast Episode #30 appeared first on Justice Speakers Institute.
37 minutes | Aug 3, 2017
Justice Speaks Podcast Episode #29
Tough on Crime is not Smart on Crime – Justice Speaks Podcast The shibboleth “Tough on Crime” is one politicians find quite appealing. The problem is that being tough–without being smart and effective—makes the community less safe and also costs money better spent on other services that have been squeezed dry by the global financial crisis. Three Strikes California, for example, enacted the toughest “three strikes” law in the United States. Not only did juvenile offenses count as strikes but the third strike could be a conviction of any felony. For instance, a 17-year-old who stole bicycles from two attached garages and at age 18 stole a candy bar could be sentenced to life in prison. How could that be? Felony strikes under that state’s law included not only violent crimes but “serious” offenses as well such as residential burglaries. Once convicted of a theft crime for which jail time was imposed, any future theft can be charged as a felony. Thus, the juvenile convictions for two residential burglaries, serious felonies that were strikes, and the theft of the candy bar was a felony so the Three Strikes law applied. The current criminal justice system of “catch and release” is expensive and ineffective. The California Supreme Court upheld such sentences for an offender who stole a slice of pizza and another who stole a DVD as the third strike. It was a distraught father whose daughter was murdered by a recent parolee who led the fight to enact the Three Strikes law. He also led the fight to modify it last year when he learned of the incredible human and economic cost the law had brought. Even the prison guards’ union supported the modification. When prisons became so overcrowded in California that inmates were triple bunked in cafeterias, lawsuits challenging such conditions were brought against the authorities. Another major lawsuit challenged the lack of mental health treatment in custody. Thirty percent of California’s prison population of 119,542 has a mental illness.Despite spending upwards of $8.6 billion on prisons every year, the lack of services got so bad that two years ago the U.S. Supreme Court, hardly a bastion of soft-on-crime adherents, found the inhumane conditions constituted “cruel and unusual punishment” in violation of the 8th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. The District Court judge’s order requiring better services and the release of 30,000 prisons to ease overcrowding must be complied with by December 2013. Failure to do so will subject the governor and other authorities “individually and collectively” to a finding of contempt of court. Incarceration is a temporary fix The current criminal justice system of “catch and release” is expensive and ineffective. While incarceration temporarily contains the problem it does not act as a general deterrent nor does it guarantee a crime free life for those who experience it. There are many strategies to address this problem from reduction of the prison population through community corrections to justice reinvestment initiatives. It is clear that people who end up in prison have social deficits that must be addressed if there is a hope of keeping them out of custody. Most Effect Criminal Justice Initiative A judge is the team leader. The most effective criminal justice initiative in decades, drug treatment courts (DTC), began in Florida. A drug treatment court focuses on the alcohol and other drug dependence that acts as a catalyst for crime. The offender is offered the opportunity to participate in substance abuse treatment instead of going to prison. Over 30 years of research has shown that drug treatment courts not only reduce crime by as much as 35% but cost less than traditional court processes as well. The drug treatment court judge is the head of a team consisting of the prosecutor, defense counsel, treatment providers, community corrections officer, coordinator and case manager. Some teams include police, housing specialists, mental health care professionals and others representing services the offender may need. Working in a non-adversarial context, every team member weighs in on recommended incentives and sanctions for compliance or non-compliance with the participant’s treatment plan. The judge makes the final decision and engages with the offender to increase his or her internal motivation to do well. This matrix forces all members of the team to step outside their traditional role, an uncomfortable situation for some. There are over 3,000 drug treatment courts in the U.S. and in over 20 countries. All of the states have adopted best practices by promoting drug treatment courts for alcohol and other drug dependent offenders as have the federal district courts. Smart on crime, not tough on crime, saves money, reduces crime and saves lives. Footnotes:  Editorial, “Mental Illness in California Prisons,” The New York Times (April 10, 2013)  “California governor has 20 days to fix overcrowded prisons or be put on trial,” RT (April 12, 2013) The post Justice Speaks Podcast Episode #29 appeared first on Justice Speakers Institute.
53 minutes | Apr 27, 2017
Justice Speaks Podcast Episode #28
Drug Recognition Experts: Combating Drugged-Driving and More – Justice Speaks Podcast By: Thomas Page, Drug Recognition Expert Emeritus The Drug Recognition Expert (DRE) program, procedure, and police officers constitute a systems approach to identifying, apprehending, and prosecuting the individual who drives while under the influence of a drug or drugs. The program and procedures were initially developed in the mid-1980s by Los Angeles, California, Police Department (LAPD) traffic enforcement officers. A primary impetus for the development of the DRE was the recognition that drugs, in addition to, or other than alcohol, impaired many drivers. Drug Recognition Expert officers have specialized training Drug Recognition Expert officers, commonly referred to as DREs, have specialized training and develop skills in observing, documenting, and interpreting clinical and behavioral signs and symptoms of drug influence. In many United States courts the DRE officer is allowed to state an expert opinion about an individual’s ability to safely operate a vehicle. In February of 2017, the Supreme Court of Canada ruled that a DRE’s testimony could be introduced in court without a challenge to the DRE’s qualifications as an “expert.” Further, the DRE officer may be allowed to state an opinion as to the specific drug or drugs, based on categories, that the person is impaired by. Although jurisdictions frequently define “under the influence” differently, generically under the influence means that a person’s ability to safely operate a vehicle has been decreased as a result of the presence of a drug(s). Thus, driving while fatigued is not “under the influence,” whereas driving after taking a sleep-inducing medication can be, if the driver is impaired. Classically, a different officer, an arresting officer, who has determined at roadside that a driver is impaired, requests the DRE and that drugs may be responsible (in total or in part) for the individual’s impairment. The arresting officer will typically have administered the Standardized Field Sobriety Test battery to the individual as part of a pre-arrest screening process. Usually, the DRE is requested to assist in the investigation subsequent to an alcohol-breath test. Simply, the person may appear to be more impaired than the alcohol reading accounts for. The DRE Procedure The DRE is responsible for making three determinations: (1) that the person is in fact impaired and that the impairment is not consistent with the alcohol reading, if any; (2) determine if the impairment may be caused by a medical condition, that may require assessment or treatment; (3) determine the category (or categories) of substances responsible for the impairment. In order to reach these three determinations, the DRE utilizes a 12-step procedure, sometimes (inaccurately) called a “protocol,” administered in a controlled environment such as a police station, which results in an opinion. If the opinion is that the person was under the influence at the time of driving, the individual is usually required to provide a blood sample that a toxicology laboratory tests for certain drugs and/or metabolites. The prosecutor may delay a prosecution decision until the laboratory results have returned. Briefly, the DRE 12-step procedure begins and ends with toxicology. The first step is a breath test for alcohol. The last step is the analysis of the biological specimen, usually blood, for drugs. Steps two through eleven include an assessment of the individual’s vital signs, including blood pressure, pulse rate (taken three times during the assessment), and body temperature. In addition, DREs assess the person’s pupil sizes in various light levels, reaction to light, as well as assessing the person for Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus (HGN). HGN, which is a gaze-evoked jerky movement of the eyeball, is caused by a number of different drugs, primarily alcohol and other Central Nervous System Depressants. Medical doctors have compared the 12-step procedure to a physician’s getting a patient’s history and physical. The drugs of abuse that DREs are concerned with are substances, whether designed to be used as drugs or not, that in small amounts, alter mood or behavior. These substances have a primary effect on the Central Nervous System (CNS). which consists of the brain, brainstem and spinal cord. A substance that does not affect the CNS may be misused (such as taking an antibiotic drug for a virus, a cold) but is not used for mood-altering effects. 7 Categories of drugs include legal and illegal drugs The Categories of Drugs DREs use a seven-category schema, which classifies drugs based on a shared pattern of detectable effects, rather than a classification system based on legality, or chemical make-up. The substances within a category have similar effects. Generally, if an individual is tolerant to one of the drugs in the category, he/she will be tolerant to the other drugs. And probably most relevantly, if an individual is unable to obtain his/her drug of choice in a category, another drug from that category may be substituted. A current, and classic, example of this is what is occurring with heroin, fentanyl, and oxycodone. It was no surprise to Drug Recognition Experts that heroin use increased dramatically in response to a crackdown on the prescribing of legitimate pharmaceuticals, such as OxyContin. The seven drug categories are: Central Nervous System Depressants Alcohol is the prototypical CNS Depressant. The other substances in this category have effects – at intoxicating levels – similar to alcohol. Of course, the other substances lack the odor of alcoholic beverages, and will not register in a breath test for alcohol. Some examples are: Benzodiazepines, such as zolidem (Ambien), alprazolam (Xanax), Valium, Barbiturates, seizure control medications, muscle relaxants, and anti-anxiety tranquilizers. Inhalants This category takes its name from the primary method of administration: breathing the fumes. Volatile solvents, such as gasoline, toluene, kerosene, and many others fall into this category. Nitrous oxide, commonly known as laughing gas, has legitimate medical uses as an anesthetic, but is also frequently abused. Dissociative Anesthetics This category was formerly named Phencyclidine (PCP) and its analogues. With the popularity of drugs such as (DXM) dextromethorphan, and the realization that the effects of DXM in large amounts mirrors that of PCP, the name of the category was changed to better reflect the reality of abuse. The drug Ketamine also belongs to this category. PCP and Ketamine have a variety of legitimate medical uses, including as surgical anesthetics on humans and animals. Cannabis Marijuana, in its various forms, is the primary drug in this category. Pharmaceutical preparations, such as Dronabinol (synthetic THC), and the cannabinoid receptor mimetic drugs, frequently, but incorrectly, called “synthetic cannabis,” also are included in this category. Central Nervous System Stimulants The stimulants are sympathomimetic substances such as cocaine or methamphetamine. Their effects mimic the body’s fight or flight response to danger. Except that the “danger” may be chemically induced, rather than based in reality. Cocaine, methamphetamine, and many other substances belong to this category. Hallucinogens The drugs in this category are used primary for their hallucinogenic, or sensory distortion, effects. LSD, psilocybin mushrooms, and MDMA, commonly known as “Molly” or “Ecstasy,” are in this category. Narcotic Analgesics These are the opioids, the opiate and opiate-like substances. Be definition these are sedation-producing pain relievers, or analgesics. Heroin, morphine, methadone, fentanyl and many other pharmaceutical preparations, such as oxycodone, are included. The Curse of Alcohol in Understanding Drugs The blessing and curse of alcohol It’s been called the blessing and the curse of alcohol in understanding the effects of non-alcohol drugs. A key difference is that there are legally prohibited levels of alcohol as it pertains to driving. That legal level (actually an illegal level) is .08%. Of course, that doesn’t mean that the individual is sober, unimpaired at a .079% level. The establishment of a per se level for alcohol is a legislative decision that’s based partly on science, on studies of impairment, but also on balancing the unique role of alcoholic beverages in society. A common question regarding drugs – asked by judges, attorneys, jurors – is how much of a drug does it take to reach the equivalent of an .08% alcohol level. “How much marijuana can someone smoke before they are impaired equivalently to an .08%?” And therein lies the conundrum! We expect that what occurs with alcohol will apply to other drugs, failing to appreciate the fact that alcohol is the exception and not the rule! The pharmacokinetics of alcohol is very different than other drugs. Alcohol is taken into the body, and then somewhat consistently over time is metabolized and excreted out. As a result, if a person achieves a level of .10%, it will take about 6 hours of non-drinking to return to 0. And if a person has a .20% level, it will take twice as long, 12 hours. (These are strictly approximations for demonstration purposes.) Drugs are different! One can’t double the dose of heroin, of cocaine, of marijuana, and on and on, and be “high” for twice as long. Simply, the pharmacokinetics (the ins, arounds, changes, and outs of drugs) are different for drugs other than alcohol. Currently, legislatures around the United States are struggling with establishing per se levels for cannabis (think marijuana). Some have adopted a “zero tolerance” approach in which a driver can’t have any THC in the body, whereas others have adopted a 2 ng/ml or a 5 ng/ml – in the blood – levels. There are many problems with this approach. Blood testing measures what’s in the blood, and not what might be in the brain. Since marijuana is lipophilic, it can store for long periods of time in the fat of the body, such as the brain. As a result, the impairment may be increasing while the blood level is decreasing. It is a conundrum indeed. How would a person know that he/she has a blood level in excess of a statutory per se level of 2 ng/ml? I suspect that most people don’t even know what a nanogram is. (It’s a billionth of a gram!) Does a per se law in effect say that it’s OK to drive after using marijuana as long as you’re not impaired, and that your level is below 2 billionths of a gram in a milliliter of your blood? That’s one of the problems with the non-alcohol drugs. Unfortunately, poly-drug use is the rule these days. That means that people use more than one drug at the same time, or serially. The effects of one drug may reinforce the effect of another, may partially mitigate the effects, may prolong, or may add on entirely new effects. Certainly, however, one drug will not cancel out the effects of the other, no more than drinking coffee (a mild stimulant) will cancel out – make sober – the alcohol-impaired individual. It’s more than drugged driving. It’s More Than Drugged Driving While the primary focus of DRE training is Driving Under the Influence (DUI) enforcement, the knowledge and skills mastered by DREs have applicability to many other fields, including drugs in the workplace, assessment of the accuracy of witness reports, domestic violence, child abuse, transportation and delivery of drugs, including controlled substances, and countless more. In addition, DRE-related training has been provided to medical professionals, including occupational nurses, physicians, psychiatrists, psychiatric technicians, social workers and public health professionals. DRE expertise may be helpful whenever drug-influence is at issue. Since its humble beginnings in Los Angeles nearly forty years ago, the DRE program has grown to include DRE officers in all 50 U.S. States, all Canadian provinces, and a number of other countries. The International Association of Chiefs of Police now recognizes over 7,000 officers as DREs. These dedicated and highly skilled officers are making our roads safer by identifying and apprehending the drug-impaired driver. The post Justice Speaks Podcast Episode #28 appeared first on Justice Speakers Institute.
20 minutes | Apr 6, 2017
Justice Speaks Podcast Episode #27
Global Road Safety: A Decade of Action How many times do we open the newspaper and read the headlines, “Drunk Driver Kills Pregnant Woman,” or turn on the TV news and hear about a person texting while driving who kills a pedestrian, or listen to the radio and hear the story about a motorcyclist killed in a single vehicle crash because he wasn’t wearing a helmet. We know these stories happen daily in communities across the United States. But interestingly enough, in the U.S. we ignore that these tragedies happen everywhere on the planet. That is why Justice Speakers International is focused on making roads everywhere safer. In this episode JSI Founders David Wallace, Judge Peggy Hora (Ret.) and Judge Brian MacKenzie (Ret.) discuss global traffic safety issues and what needs to be done to save lives. UN Decade of Action for Road Safety Tag Decade of Action for Road Safety Did you know: Around the globe 1.24 million people are killed annually in road traffic crashes. Between 20 and 50 million people sustain non-fatal injuries annually. More than 270,000 pedestrians lose their lives, 22% of all road fatalities. Combine motorcyclists and cyclists with pedestrians and it totals 50% of all annual road annually. Road crashes are the leading global cause of death for young people aged 10-24. Without action, road traffic crashes are predicted to result in the deaths of approximately 1.9 million people annually by 2020. Recognizing the growing threat, in March 2010 the United Nations proclaimed a Decade of Action for Road Safety (2011–2020), focusing on five “pillars”: Road Safety Management; Safer Roads and Mobility; Safer Vehicles; Safer Road Users; and Post-crash Responses. The Decade, officially launched May 2011 in over 110 countries, aims to save millions of lives by enhancing the safety of roads and vehicles; altering the behavior of road users; and expanding emergency services. Countries are encouraged to implement activities based on the World Report on Road Traffic Injury Prevention, with the goal of stabilizing and then reducing the devastation caused by global traffic crashes. Warning roadsigns along European urban road under construction The call to action by the U.N. has brought country alongside country and agency alongside agency, all focused on finding the path to safer roads, protecting citizens everywhere from the wreckage of crashes. There are promising results thus far. Eighty-eight countries reduced the number of deaths on their roads between 2007 and 2010, before the call to action even occurred. Clearly, improvements are possible. But during that same time, 87 countries saw increases in the number of fatalities. Since 2009, there has been no overall reduction in the number of people killed; however, this is in light of an increase of registered vehicles by 15%. Such an increase implies some global activities had an impact when considered against the expected increase of fatalities. Other Traffic Safety Topics The Traffic Safety Guy, David Wallace, continues the discussion covering such topics as distracted driving and cell phones, motorcycle helmets, drink driving and DWI Courts. Three years ago, the United Nations called for a Decade of Action; it called us to action to save lives and make a difference. Think how much can be achieved if everyone takes up the call, and acts. It is time to step up, speak out, and take action. It is time to make a difference. The post Justice Speaks Podcast Episode #27 appeared first on Justice Speakers Institute.
14 minutes | Mar 16, 2017
Justice Speaks Podcast Episode #26
The Rule of Law? Justice Speaks Podcast In this podcast, Justice Speakers Institute founders Judge Peggy Hora (Ret.), David Wallace and Judge Brian MacKenzie (Ret.) discuss the importance of the concept of the international rule of law. Based upon the World Justice Project’s (WJP) definition they discuss the four universal principles of the rule of law: The government and its officials and agents as well as individuals and private entities are accountable under the law. The laws are clear, publicized, stable, and just; are applied evenly; and, protect fundamental rights, including the security of persons and property and certain core human rights. The process by which the laws are enacted, administered, and enforced is accessible, fair and efficient. Justice is delivered timely by competent, ethical, and independent representatives and neutrals who are of sufficient number, have adequate resources and reflect the makeup of the communities they serve. Measuring how the rule of law is experienced by ordinary people The discussion then focuses on the nine factors developed by WJP to measure how the rule of law is experienced by ordinary people around the globe. Constraints on Government Powers measures the extent to which those who govern are bound by law. It comprises the means, both constitutional and institutional, by which the powers of the government are restrained. Absence of Corruption measures the absence of corruption in government agencies. The factor considers three forms of corruption: bribery, improper influence by public or private interests and misappropriation of public funds or other resources. Open Government measures the openness of government to requests by its citizens for input and information. Fundamental Rights measures the protection of fundamental human rights. Order and Security measures how well the society assures the security of persons and property. Security is one of the defining aspects of any civilized society. Regulatory Enforcement measures the extent to which regulations are fairly and effectively implemented and enforced. Civil Justice measures whether ordinary people can resolve their grievances peacefully and effectively through a civil justice system. Criminal Justice measures the criminal justice system. An effective criminal justice system constitutes the primary mechanism to protect citizens and ensure personal rights. Informal Justice concerns the role played in many countries by customary and ‘informal’ systems of justice, including such concepts as Therapeutic Jurisprudence and Procedural Fairness. After discussing these foundations, the podcast concludes by focusing on how Therapeutic Jurisprudence and Procedural Justice/Fairness are critical components ensuring that the rule of law has citizen understanding and support. The post Justice Speaks Podcast Episode #26 appeared first on Justice Speakers Institute.
17 minutes | Mar 9, 2017
Justice Speaks Podcast Episode #25
Justice Speakers International is Live – Justice Speaks Podcast The Founders and Associates of Justice Speakers Institute, LLC (JSI) have an international perspective and have traveled and trained on six of the seven continents. When the Global Centre for Drug Treatment Courts closed last year, it left a gap in the information flow and services provided to international drug courts. Justice Speakers International seeks to fill that hole by presenting a forum to connect and share ideas across the world. We see JS International as a clearinghouse for global justice information on a wide variety of subjects. We can provide speakers, organize conferences, give technical assistance and interface with the thought leaders in each community. We have the knowledge, know-how and data to provide alcohol and other drug treatment courts the best tools to develop and enhance their programs. But it’s not just drug treatment courts with which we can help. Other international issues like victims of violence, elder abuse and jurisprudential issues like the Rule of Law, Therapeutic Jurisprudence and Restorative Justice are all international subjects within our wheelhouse. To learn more, visit http://justicespeakersinternational.com/ . The post Justice Speaks Podcast Episode #25 appeared first on Justice Speakers Institute.
17 minutes | Jan 19, 2017
Justice Speaks Podcast Episode #24
Family Drug Treatment Courts – Justice Speaks Podcast Scope of the Problem There are approximately one million child abuse and neglect cases investigated in the United States each year involving nearly 250,000 children. An additional 2.5 million children are being raised by grandparents or other relatives. They are currently referred to as “Opioid Orphans.” The genesis for most of these cases (estimated to be between 70-90%) is the misuse of alcohol and other drugs. It’s not just illicit drugs that endanger children; it is estimated that in alcohol abusing homes children are four times more likely to be victims of maltreatment. With the growing opioid addiction epidemic, it could get even worse. One million child abuse and neglect cases investigated in the United States each year involving nearly 250,000 children Why Family Drug Treatment Courts? Even after court intervention, an untreated substance use disorder is associated with longer out-of-home placement; a greater likelihood of termination of parental rights; and, higher rates of child re-victimization. In 1997 Congressed passed the Adoption and Safe Families Act that created a presumption favoring reunification with a child’s family of origin but also put those parents on a short leash in order to get back their children. Placement – either through reunification or by “permanency planning” to free up the child for adoption – must take place within 12 months after the child is placed in foster care. Prior to the advent of Family Drug Treatment Courts (FDTCs), the typical first review was in 6 months and more than 60% of parents in child abuse and neglect cases did not comply with treatment; 80% failed to complete treatment; and, few families were reunited. FDTCs have changed all that. What is a FDTC? “A FDTC is a juvenile or family court docket for cases of child abuse or neglect in which parental substance use is a contributing factor. Its goal is to provide safe, nurturing and permanent homes for children while providing parents with the support and services they need to become abstinent. The Court aids parents to regain control of the lives and promote long-term, stabilized recovery to enhance the possibility of family reunification.” There are approximately 300 FDTCs in the United States and one international court in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia. The model is very much the adult drug treatment court model with the Court and collaborative agencies addressing the holistic needs of the parents. Are FDTCs Effective? Current research shows the efficacy of FDTCs. In a report published last year, researchers found: Parents in FDTCs were 25%-35% more likely to complete treatment than in traditional dependency proceedings. Children spent 3-6 fewer months in out-of-home placement than traditional courts. Loss of custody of their children is the norm in traditional proceedings but in FDTCs children were 15%-40% more likely to be reunified. Some studies show lower rates of re-victimization but too few studies have been conducted to make the claim overall. Additional research is also needed to confirm studies that suggest parents in FDTCs have fewer arrests than in traditional courts. Best Practices in Family Drug Treatment Courts Below are a few “Best Practices” that should be implemented in any FDTC: Quick entry (within 30-60 days) into substance use disorder treatment Retain in treatment at least 15 months Deliver weekly individual counseling for a minimum of Phase I Use evidence-based family counseling such as Strengthening Families; Celebrating Families!; Engaging Moms; Functional Family Therapy; and, Multisystemic Therapy Deliver counseling/case management in participants’ homes Schedule frequent status hearings Insure judge uses Procedural Fairness Perform weekly alcohol and other drug testing Provide parenting classes including disciplinary skills Provide specialized services for families affected by methamphetamine Ensure staff received annual training on neuroscience, evidence-based family interventions and specialized services for children who have been abused, neglected and traumatized. Resources Below are useful resources for any FDTC or person working with FDTCs. Family Dependency Treatment Courts: Addressing Child Abuse and Neglect Cases Using the Drug Court Model https://www.ncjrs.gov/pdffiles1/bja/206809.pdf Family Dependency Treatment Courts: Applying the Drug Court Model in Child Maltreatment Cases http://www.ndci.org/wp-content/uploads/FDTC_Fact_Sheet.web%5B1%5D.pdf Guidance to States: Recommendations for Developing Family Drug Court Guidelines http://www.cffutures.org/files/publications/FDC-Guidelines.pdf Footnotes: 1 Marlowe, Douglas B., et al., “Painting the Current Picture: A National Report on Drug Courts and Other Problem-Solving Courts in the United States,” National Drug Court Institute (June 2016)  Id.  Id. The post Justice Speaks Podcast Episode #24 appeared first on Justice Speakers Institute.
15 minutes | Dec 1, 2016
Justice Speaks Podcast Episode #23
The Nuts and Bolts of Drug Testing – Part I – Justice Speaks Podcast Drug Testing is one of the Key Components. More than 2,300,000 Americans are currently incarcerated, about a quarter of these for drug offenses. Additionally, 80% of those in our prisons are either addicted to or abusing drugs. Currently 40 states operate prison systems that are above 90% capacity; of those 23 are at about one hundred percent of capacity. This means that some states are currently spending more on their prisons then on education Incarceration is clearly not an answer to drug addiction and the so-called “war on drugs” has simply failed. Almost 73% of the individuals incarcerated for drug related crimes are rearrested within two years of their release. This failure rate would be unacceptable in almost any other institution and yet we tolerate it in our prison system. If there were no other answer, then perhaps it would be acceptable but we know from recent statistics that there is a better approach. This approach, known as drug treatment courts, targets individuals at high risk for reoffending and places them in a program that relies on the 10 Key Components of drug treatment courts.These components form the basis of an approach that is far more successful then incarceration. A comparison of high risk offenders placed in a drug treatment court shows that two years after their successful completion of a drug treatment court the recidivism rate was only 25%, one third the re-arrest rate of incarceration alone. A good drug-testing program provides deterrence; A Key Component An important component of drug treatment court’s is the emphasis placed on drug testing. In fact, it is one of the Key Components: “abstinence is monitored by frequent random drug testing”. An important study of drug courts found the testing was significantly related to both a reduction in drug use and recidivism. A good drug-testing program provides deterrence; identifies clients who are using and who are abstinent; and, serves as an adjunct to treatment. There are many different ways to test for drugs: blood, breath, hair, sweat, oral fluids, and urine. Each have their advantages and disadvantages witch should be understood when selecting the appropriate approach to testing an individual defendant. Part one of “The Nuts and Bolts of Drug Testing” gives you the basic information that you need to determine why you should test and what test to use. Footnotes:  http://www.drugwarfacts.org/cms/Prisons_and_Drugs#sthash.FkubAub4.dpbs  Ibid  Ibid  Recidivism of Prisoners Released in 30 States in 2005: Patterns from 2005 to 2010 U.S. Department of Justice Office of Justice Programs Bureau of Justice Statistics  ADULT DRUG COURT BEST PRACTICE STANDARDS VOLUME II This is not the correct cite. It should be to 10 Key Components drug_courts_fact_sheet_5-31-11-1.pdf  ADULT DRUG COURT BEST PRACTICE STANDARDS VOLUME II 8.] Recidivism of Prisoners Released in 30 States in 2005: Patterns from 2005 to 2010 U.S. Department of Justice Office of Justice Programs Bureau of Justice Statistics , The Multi-Site Adult Drug Court Evaluation: The Impact of Drug Courts, The post Justice Speaks Podcast Episode #23 appeared first on Justice Speakers Institute.
12 minutes | Aug 25, 2016
Justice Speaks Podcast Episode #22
Drug Courts: The Criminal Justice System Rolls the Rock, Part 2 – Justice Speaks Podcast (Part One of this interview can be found here.) In this podcast, Judge Brian MacKenzie (Ret) continues his interview with Judge Michael Haley (Ret.) about his upcoming article to be published in the Journal of Public Interest Law entitled “ Drug Courts: The Criminal Justice System Rolls the Rock”. Judge Haley says that his recent retirement as a judge from the 86th District Court in Traverse City, Michigan, provided him an opportunity to step back and take a deep dive into the scientific literature about drug treatment courts and to combine that with his own personal experience in developing a DWI/Drug Court, to create a unique perspective about these courts. Judge Haley’s interview focuses on his struggle to create a DWI/Drug Court, known in Michigan as a “Sobriety Court,” at a time when Drug Treatment Courts were not well known. The title of the article is a classical reference to the punishment of Sisyphus by the Greek gods, where he was required to roll a rock up a mountain, and every time he neared the peak, the rock rolled back down to the base. Judge Haley argues that at the time he became a judge, the criminal justice system’s approach to sentencing drug dependent defendants was as effective as the efforts of Sisyphus. Judge Haley discusses how Drug Treatment Courts, and Sobriety Court, changed his view of sentencing. Drug Treatment Courts Creating Better Judges During the course of the interview Judge Haley discusses how Drug Treatment Courts, and specifically his own Sobriety Court, changed his view of sentencing and offered him something he believes is necessary for judges in the criminal justice system — hope. Judge Haley believes that drug treatment courts, not only improve the lives of the individuals who participate, but offer a relief from the cynicism that seems to be a common problem for judges. This is borne out by previous research by JSI President Judge Peggy Hora (Ret.) who found that working therapeutically not only improves participant outcomes but increases judicial satisfaction. Judge Haley says that he was lucky to be exposed to the drug treatment court model in its early years and that presiding over a Sobriety Court changed how he did judging. This in turn made him a better judge. The interview continued our in-depth discussion about Drug Treatment Courts and a revealing insight into one of the judges who helped change the criminal justice system.  The Best Seat In The House: The Court The post Justice Speaks Podcast Episode #22 appeared first on Justice Speakers Institute.
28 minutes | Aug 11, 2016
Justice Speaks Podcast Episode #21
Voting Rights: Precious Right Protected by the Courts – Justice Speaks Podcast Voting represents the very essence of a democracy and in the last week or so several courts have struck down restrictions on this basic right. Voting represents the very essence of a democracy In this podcast episode, Judges Peggy Hora (Ret.) and Brian MacKenzie (Ret.) discuss the recent court decisions involving one of our fundamental rights. These restrictions on the right to vote were passed in the wake of the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Shelby County v. Holder 133 S. Ct. 2612 (2013) That case essentially struck down the portion of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 that required states that had been found to have discriminated against minority voters in the past had to have the approval of the Department of Justice before making changes to their laws. The Court said, “Nearly 50 years later, things have changed dramatically. Blatantly discriminatory evasions of federal decrees are rare.” Ah but were that so. As you can see in the cases below, North Carolina, Wisconsin, Texas, Michigan and Kansas all passed laws that were found to be discriminatory “50 years later.” The North Carolina Voting Restrictions Perhaps the most important decision was issued by a panel of the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals which ruled that a North Carolina voting law, the largest rollback of voting rights passed after the Shelby County case, was both unconstitutional and a violation of the 1965 Voting Rights Act. The court threw out not only the state’s strict voter ID law, but also other voting restrictions that could make it especially hard for minorities to vote. North Carolina NAACP v. McCrory, United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit: Case 16-1468, (2016). In the last week or so several courts have struck down restrictions on this basic right. Wisconsin’s Similar Law On the same day another federal court came to similar conclusions about Wisconsin’s strict voting laws. Applying much the same reasoning as in McCrory the court vacated the state’s restrictions on voting. One Wisconsin Institute Inc., et al v. Gerald Nichol, et al. In the United States District Court for the Western District of Wisconsin Case: 3:15-cv-00324-jdp (2106) * Voting Restrictions in Texas Also in July, the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit ruled en blanc that Texas’s voter identification law had a racially discriminatory effect on African-American and Latino citizens. The Court sent the case back to the trial court to determine whether Texas acted with a racially discriminatory intent and to create a procedure to make it easier for those who lack a driver’s license to obtain a voter identification. Veasey v. Abbott United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit Case: 14-41127, (2016) Michigan and Kansas Laws Discriminated Meanwhile, In Michigan, a district court judge rejected the state’s elimination of straight-ticket voting while in Kansas, a state court voided a law that prevented citizens who could be eligible to vote for federal office from voting in Kansas state elections if they did not provide a birth certificate. This podcast episode of Justice Speaks discusses the threads that connects all of these decisions and your voting rights. * Update on Cases Cited Update: Since this episode has been published, the case of One Wisconsin Institute Inc., et al. v. Gerald Nichol, et al. has been “stayed” by the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals – meaning that any further legal action on the case is stopped until further action by the Circuit Court of Appeals. Video of this discussion Below you can watch Judges Hora and MacKenzie discuss this issue on a video recording made while recording this podcast episode. The post Justice Speaks Podcast Episode #21 appeared first on Justice Speakers Institute.
12 minutes | Jun 16, 2016
Justice Speaks Podcast Episode #20
Can Judicial Compassion Be Unethical? Justice Speaks Podcast Veterans’ Treatment Courts Two months ago something happened that has been bothering me ever since. A judge in North Carolina sentenced a man to 24 hours in jail then joined him in the cell for the night. District Court Judge Lou Olivera is a veteran of the Gulf War and presides over a Veterans’ Treatment Court. An explanation of Vets’ Courts may be found at here. Vets’ courts are the latest iteration of drug courts where the treatment and recovery of the criminal defendant (most often called the “participant”) is the focus of the court, not the adjudication of facts. After entry of a guilty plea the court coordinator and mental health/substance abuse treatment providers develop a treatment plan with the assistance of a Veterans’ Justice Outreach (JVO) Specialist who is employed by the Veterans Administration. Through a series of progress reports in front of the judge, the participant’s progress is closely monitored. When doing well, a participant is rewarded; when not doing well, the participant is sanctioned. There may also be treatment adjustments from time to time. Among veterans, PTSD and Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) is found in almost 20% of the population Incidence of PTSD In this particular case Sgt. Joseph Serna had appeared in front of Judge Olivera 25 times for progress reports. On the day of this particular incident, Serna admitted he lied about a recent urine test. The former Green Beret suffers from severe Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), a common affliction among combat veterans. Previously ignored by the service, the Veterans Administration now has a National Center for PTSD. Among veterans, PTSD and Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) is found in almost 20% of the population compared to 3.6% of men and 9.7% of women in the general population. Sentence of 24 hours in jail Although Judge Olivera had a variety of choices when imposing sanctions for lying about the urine test, he chose to sentence Serna to jail time. The judge himself drove Serna to jail and noticed he was responding negatively. According to news reports, the judge said, “When Joe first came to turn himself in, he was trembling. I decided that I’d spend the night serving with him.” The participant saw it this way: “He is a judge, but that night, he was my battle buddy,” Serna says. “He knew what I was going through. As a warrior, he connected.” At the end of the one-day sentence, the judge drove Serna home after stopping to buy donuts for Serna’s family. There is no doubt that this was an incredible and compassionate thing to do but it raises so many questions. Ethical issues involved There is no doubt that this was an incredible and compassionate thing to do but it raises so many questions. Why did the judge choose a custodial sentence when he could have assigned volunteer work, writing an essay about honesty, stepped up counseling or drug tests or any variety of other sanctions? One of the beauties of treatment courts is being able to individually craft both positive and negative responses to participant behavior. Was it appropriate to drive the participant to jail? The American Bar Association Model Code of Judicial Conduct requires a judge to “uphold and promote the, independence, integrity, and impartiality of the judiciary, and shall avoid impropriety and the appearance of impropriety” (Canon 1). Could someone, knowing the facts, question the independence and impartiality of the judge? Canon 2, among other things, prohibits a judge from having ex parte communication. No defense attorney nor prosecutor was present at the jail. No court reporter was on hand to make a record. The conversation was personal according to Serna. What did they talk about? How might the judge use this information in the future? Was something said that would be of interest to the attorneys? The Preamble of the Canons says, “[Judges] should aspire at all times to conduct that ensures the greatest possible public confidence in their independence, impartiality, integrity, and competence.” Does Judge Olivera’s conduct raise any questions in this regard? Judge Olivera sounds like an amazing man who has served his country well. Sgt. Serna has certainly been affected negatively by his service and he is a hero with three Purple Hearts. But what bothers me is no one has commented on the propriety of what the judge did. It was the humane thing to do but was it the ethical thing to do? What do you think? The post Justice Speaks Podcast Episode #20 appeared first on Justice Speakers Institute.
16 minutes | Apr 28, 2016
Justice Speaks Podcast Episode #19
Drug Court: The Criminal Justice System Rolls the Rock, Part 1 – Justice Speaks Podcast Judge Haley (Ret.) congratulates Sobriety Court graduate In this episode of Justice Speaks, JSI Founder Judge Brian MacKenzie (Ret) speaks with Judge Michael Haley (Ret.), about his upcoming article to be published in the Loyola Journal of Public Interest Law, entitled “Drug Court: The Criminal Justice System Rolls The Rock.” Judge Haley says that his recent retirement as a judge from the 86th District Court in Traverse City, Michigan, provided him an opportunity to step back and take a deep dive into the scientific literature about Drug Treatment Courts and to combine that with his own personal experience in developing a DWI/Drug Court, to create a unique perspective about drug treatment courts. The discussion focuses on his struggle to create a DWI/Drug Court, known in Michigan as a “Sobriety Court,” at a time when Drug Treatment Courts were not well-known. The title of the article is a classical reference to the punishment of Sisyphus by the Greek gods, where he was required to roll a rock up a mountain, and every time he neared the peak, the rock rolled back down to the base. Judge Haley argues that at the time he became a judge, the criminal justice system’s approach to sentencing drug dependent defendants was as effective as the efforts of Sisyphus. Drug Court Provides Hope Drug Treatment Courts provided hope to the judge. During the course of the interview Judge Haley discusses how Drug Treatment Courts and specifically his own Sobriety Court, changed his view of sentencing and offered him something he believes is necessary for judges in the criminal justice system — hope. Judge Haley believes that Drug Treatment Courts not only improve the lives of the individuals who participate, but offer a relief from the cynicism that seems to be a common problem for judges. Judge Haley says that he was lucky to be exposed to the Drug Court model in its early years and that presiding over a Sobriety Court changed how he did judging for all cases. This in turn made him a better judge. The interview presents an in-depth discussion about Drug Treatment Courts and a revealing insight into one of the pioneering judges who helped change the criminal justice system. The post Justice Speaks Podcast Episode #19 appeared first on Justice Speakers Institute.
17 minutes | Apr 21, 2016
Justice Speaks Podcast Episode #18
Alcohol Monitoring: A Vital Part of Probation – Justice Speaks Podcast Crime and Substance Abuse are Linked About 90% of criminal cases have involvement of alcohol or other drugs The link between substance abuse and crime is clear. About 90% of criminal cases have involvement of alcohol or other drugs. Because of this link, it is not unusual for abstinence to be a requirement for release on bond or own recognizance; a condition of probation; or, a condition of participation in sobriety courts such as DWI and Drug Courts. Alcohol monitoring is the only way to ensure if a person is complying with a court order. Not everyone, however, needs to have a “no alcohol clause” even if they got in trouble around drinking. For instance, of first time DWI arrestees, 75% will never be rearrested. The incident itself and rather severe consequences are enough to eliminate future behavior. The 25% are usually high risk/high need offenders with a substance use disorder who, without evidence-based treatment, are almost certain to recidivate. Trust, but Verify Compliance rates with an abstinence clause are increased if there is verification. Offenders may be required to submit to various tests such as an on-scene breathalyzer during the police investigation (a Preliminary Alcohol Screening [PAS] device) or a breath test after arrest. Officer giving breath test Ignition Interlock Devices Almost every state has laws about Ignition Interlock Devices (IID). These are machines that are installed in an offender’s vehicle(s) that requires blowing into a tube designed to detect the presence of alcohol. If alcohol is detected, then the person is “locked out” of their car and cannot drive. Modern devices are pretty sophisticated in their methods to prevent tampering such as taking a photo of the individual who is using the device, requiring a “hum tone” when blowing into it and requiring restarts to guarantee the correct driver is operating the vehicle. Within the next five years it is anticipated that all new cars will have alcohol sensors either on the start button or the steering wheel. 24/7 and Continuous Alcohol Monitoring Almost ten years ago, North Dakota became the first state to develop a 24/7 program. This program requires, as a condition of release from custody, the offender to take a breath test at the local police station twice a day. South Dakota has seen a 93% abstinence compliance rate and a 98% completion rate in their 24/7 program. Montana’s Supreme Court in State v. Spady recently upheld the requirement and found it to be constitutional even though it was a pre-conviction requirement. As an adjunct to the 24/7 program the offender may be required to wear a Continuous Alcohol Monitoring (CAM) device. This is useful for those who have no transportation, live in rural areas, travel for work or have other circumstances that would make it difficult for them to turn up at the police station twice a day. These are transdermal devices that measure whether or not the person has been consuming alcohol. Almost every state has laws about Ignition Interlock Devices Other Fluids and Tests Breath testing and CAM transdermal testing are the least invasive procedures to monitor alcohol consumption. Both urine and the saliva may be tested as well. Blood testing, perhaps the most invasive, is very much in the news. In Missouri v. McNeely (2013) the Supreme Court required a search warrant before a blood draw could be done on a driver suspected of alcohol-impaired driving who did not consent to such a test. Two cases before the Court this session, Birchfield v. North Dakota and Bernard v. Minnesota test the laws in 13 states that have “implied consent” statutes criminalizing refusals to take a chemical test after being arrested for DWI. Biomarkers such as EtG (ethyl glucuronide) and EtS (ethyl sulfate) measure unique biological markers of alcohol use and produce no false positives. They can measure use of alcohol for longer periods of time and have other advantages. They are, however, expensive tests but courts are encouraged to use them. It is clear that some criminal defendants need to be abstinent to be crime free and it is also necessary that their use or non-use is monitored. This supervision can be by the Probation Department or the court itself as in specialty DWI Courts. Watch a Video of this Discussion The post Justice Speaks Podcast Episode #18 appeared first on Justice Speakers Institute.
11 minutes | Apr 7, 2016
Justice Speaks Podcast Episode #17
Distracted Driving and Cell Phones: Hands-Free is Not Risk- Free – Justice Speaks Podcast April is Distracted Driving Awareness Month. This is a time to raise awareness of the dangers and cost of this growing epidemic. In 2014, distracted driving in the United States alone resulted in at least: 3,179 fatalities 431,000 injuries (18% of all crash injuries) In 2014, distracted driving resulted in at least 3,179 fatalities. Did you know that 40% of American teens say that they have been in a car when the driver used a cell phone in a way that put people in danger? Expert after expert now declares distracted driving an epidemic. According to a 2014 special article in the New England Journal of Medicine, the risk of a crash or near-crash among novice drivers increased with the performance of many secondary tasks, including texting and dialing cell phones. The University of Michigan’s Transportation Research Institute’s 2012 Teen Driver Distraction Study reports that a quarter of teens respond to a text message once or more every time they drive, and 20 percent of teens and 10 percent of parents admit that they have extended, multi-message text conversations while driving. What is Distracted Driving? Distracted driving comprises one or more aspects: manual, visual, and/or cognitive. Cognitive distraction is the least obvious but potentially the most dangerous of the three. Driving in general is probably the most dangerous activity you will do during a day. The most likely cause of death for someone under the age of 25 is motor vehicle crashes; it is more likely than the next three causes combined. For someone 25 and older, motor vehicle crashes are the second most likely cause of death. Combine driving and a cognitive distraction and you have a recipe for disaster. Being able to multi-task is a myth When considering the brain’s capabilities, language skills are a difficult task that takes years to perfect and are one of the first to fail as our brain ages. Talking and listening use a lot of our brain, although we don’t realize it since it becomes a routine activity. Talking on a cell phone while hands-free or not makes no difference. Both are risky when driving because the brain is engaged in a task that is not related to driving. The Myth of Multi-Tasking In today’s society, there is a push to be able to “multi-task.” Many people claim they can do it effectively. But being able to multi-task is a myth. The human brain cannot perform more than one task at a time, nor can it be trained to multi-task. Studies of fighter pilots attempting to train their brain to multi-task have demonstrated the futility of it. A brain does not multi-task, it switches tasks, sometimes in milliseconds. Instead of giving full performance to two tasks, it choses which task the person has “said” is more important, and then focuses on it. If necessary, the brain will switch back to another task when something happens. You can tell when the person you are speaking to on the other end of the phone is not fully engaged in the call—you get short answers, or “uh-huh” or “mmmm.” As soon as you point out to the person that he or she is not listening, the brain changes the focus, you get their full attention, and if that person is driving, it is the attention to driving that suffers. A Grand Illusion As humans, we have the ability to fool ourselves; it is like a Grand Illusion. We believe we see everything in front of us, but in actuality we do not have 180-degree vision. The brain actually fills in the details. Add to that the “task switching” the brain is doing, and you start to understand just how much of what is happening is not being recognized by the brain. Each of these beliefs has been shown to be false Distracted Driving and Cell Phones: More Myths One thing that has not fooled the scientists who deal with the brain are cell phones and cognitive distraction. The research is clear: it creates an increased risk. Based on the research, the best answer to this issue is a cell phone ban while the person is driving. Those opposed to a ban raise a variety of claims, including: Decreased business productivity Lack of public support Enforcement difficulties They are additional myths. Fortune 500 companies that have imposed cell phone bans have seen no reduction in productivity, but they have seen a decrease in crashes and property damage. Surveys have shown that over two-thirds of the public supports a full cell phone ban, and law enforcement has been able find ways to successfully enforce current laws regarding cell phone limitations. A common question asked when discussing cell phones and driving is what about passengers in the car? After all, talking on the phone is just like talking to a passenger, right? That is absolutely wrong! For an adult, there are significant differences between having a conversation with passenger in the car and talking on a cell phone. With a passenger, she or he is another set of eyes and able to spot and point out driving hazards. In fact, a passenger can recognize when traffic is challenging and just stop talking. None of that is true during a cell phone conversation. Time to be proactive with a cell phone ban Time to be Proactive It is time to have a social stigma attached to driving while using a cell phone, just as it now is socially unacceptable to drink too much and drive. One way to start that change is for parents to model for their children what it is to be a safe driver, which includes not using a cell phone while driving. Another way is to promote a no cell phone while driving policy at work. In the meantime, it is time for all of us to ask the real question: “What makes this phone call so important that I am going to risk my life and the lives of others.” The post Justice Speaks Podcast Episode #17 appeared first on Justice Speakers Institute.
14 minutes | Mar 10, 2016
Justice Speaks Podcast Episode #16
Parents: Set the Rules With Your Teen Driver – Justice Speaks Podcast Every parent should talk to their teen about the rules of safe driving. Learning to drive is very exciting for teens, and a driver’s license is a giant step toward independence. But when a teen driver is getting ready to hit the road, a parent’s job isn’t done. In fact, talking to your kids about the dangers of driving is one of the best things you can do to keep them safe. Tragically, many parents just assume their teens get this information elsewhere, so they don’t have the conversation. Motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death for teens 15-19 in America. In 2013 alone, 2,614 teen drivers were involved in fatal crashes, and an estimated 130,000 were injured. Parents should talk to their teens about the rules of safe driving, but a recent survey shows that only 25 percent of parents have done so. It can be difficult to talk to teens about anything, let alone a serious topic like safe driving. Many parents don’t know what to say, or give up if they feel like they’re not being heard. In order to provide you with the tools, resources, and words you need to keep your teens safe, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration teamed up with state and local highway safety and law enforcement organizations on the teen driver safety campaign “5 to Drive”. The education and awareness campaign identifies the five most important rules all teen drivers need to follow. 5 to Drive Get the facts and start talking to your teen about the “5 to Drive,” and Set the Rules Before They Hit the Road. No Drinking and Driving. Compared with other age groups, teen drivers are at a greater risk of death in alcohol-related crashes, even though they’re too young to legally buy or possess alcohol. Nationally in 2013, almost one out of five (19 percent) of the teen drivers (15 to 19 years old) killed in crashes had been drinking. Buckle Up. Every Trip. Every Time. Front Seat and Back. In 2013, of all the young (15- to 20-year-old) passenger vehicle drivers killed in crashes, 64 percent of all young passengers (13- to 19-year-old) of teen (15- to 19-year-old) drivers who died in motor vehicle crashes weren’t restrained. Put It Down. One Text or Call Could Wreck It All. This age group has the highest percentage of drivers distracted by phone use. In 2013, 318 people were killed in crashes that involved a distracted teen driver. Stop Speeding Before It Stops You. In 2013, speeding was a factor in almost one-third (29%) of the crashes that killed 15- to 20-year-old drivers. No More Than One Passenger at a Time. Extra passengers for a teen driver can lead to disastrous results. Research shows that the risk of a fatal crash goes up in direct relation to the number of teens in a car. The likelihood of teen drivers engaging in risky behavior triples when traveling with multiple passengers. Additional Resources In today’s technological society, it has never been easier to access the wealth of resources available on how to have this important conversation. Below are a few suggestions. I Know Everything. IKnowEverything is a comprehensive effort focusing on the issues of drunk driving and distracted driving. It reminds parents that they have the most impact on their teen’s driving behaviors. It Can Wait. ItCanWait is a no-texting-while-driving campaign concentrating its message on today’s young drivers. The campaign promotes the deadly consequences of texting and driving and asks youth everywhere to share the message that any text can wait while driving. Parents can help support their teens in sharing this lifesaving message. Not So Fast: Parenting Your Teens Through the Dangers of Driving. In his book Not So Fast: Parenting Your Teen Through the Dangers of Driving, Tim Hollister notes that: “For teens, the dangers start at “at risk” and go up from there.” He points to the inexperience of teen drivers as well as a number of other factors that come into play. Mr. Hollister uses both research and his personal experience to provide great information for parents and their role in supervising a teen driver and reducing the risks. For more information about the “5 to Drive” campaign visit www.safercar.gov/parents. Have A Conversation Please take the time and talk to your kids—this week and every week—about how to be smart and safe behind the wheel. How do you do it? Start the conversation early. Set the standard. Get it in writing Spell out the rules. You can make a difference in your teen’s life. Do you have any suggestions on what has worked for you in having this vital conversation? Let me know in the comments below. The post Justice Speaks Podcast Episode #16 appeared first on Justice Speakers Institute.
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