Tuesday, June 2, 2009

National Partnership to Meet, Evaluate Addiction Treatment as Component of New Justice Programs

/PRNewswire / -- Representatives from more than 50 federal agencies, corporations, nonprofits and academic institutions are meeting today in Washington, D.C., as part of a multi-phase process aimed at mitigating what they call the crippling effects of alcohol misuse and crime in the United States.

The third meeting for the National Partnership on Alcohol Misuse and Crime (NPAMC) will feature keynote speaker Dr. Robert DuPont, president of the Institute for Behavior and Health and former director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy and the National Institute of Drug Abuse. The one-day conference will focus on what NPAMC president and founder Stephen Talpins calls the vital role of addiction treatment in the management of alcohol-involved offenders. "The justice system has been trying for decades to mitigate both the economic and public safety impact of alcohol misuse," says Talpins, a former national policy director for Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) and a former DUI prosecutor for the Miami-Dade County State Attorney's Office. "Research is showing, time and again, that treatment-based programs for addicted offenders are, dollar for dollar, the most effective way to reduce the extraordinary burdens placed in justice agencies and to reduce the cycle of recidivism," says Talpins. The Century Council, a NPAMC Participating Organization, is sponsoring the conference.

In addition to Dr. DuPont, the conference includes presentations on the latest clinical research on addiction treatment and its application to criminal offenders. Speakers include Dr. Rick Rosenthal, professor of Clinical Psychiatry at Columbia University; Dr. Mark Publicker, president of the Maine Society of Addiction Medicine and medical director of Addiction Treatment Services at Mercy Recovery Center; Dr. Westley Clark, director of the Center for Substance Abuse Treatment with SAMHSA; and Judge William Dressel (retired), president of the National Judicial College.

NPAMC was founded in September 2008 with the goal of bringing together the vast expertise, research and resources dedicated to tackling the issues related to epidemic rates of alcohol misuse and crime. NPAMC is comprised of more than 50 Participating Organizations, and the aim is to provide criminal justice agencies across the U.S. with proven, evidence-based program models that will reduce the exorbitant financial burden taxpayers bare managing alcohol offenders by reducing the rate of alcohol-related recidivism.

In 2008, the Pew Center on the States (a NPAMC Participating Organization) released a study titled "One in 100: Behind Bars in America," highlighting the epidemic rates and costs of incarceration in the U.S., where one in every 100 adults is now behind bars. In 2009, Pew released "One in 31: The Long Reach of American Corrections," which shows that a staggering one in every 31 U.S. adults is under correctional supervision. "Alcohol-involved offenders are literally paralyzing the criminal justice system, clogging court dockets, caseloads and our jails and prisons. We can no longer afford to simply debate the issue," says Talpins.

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