The Champion

November 2009 , Page 13 

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Message from NACDL's State Legislative Director

By Angelyn C. Frazer

Read more SLN News columns.

The NACDL Task Force Issues a Report and Calls for Reform

In September, after a two-year study, the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers Problem-Solving Courts Task Force issued its comprehensive report titled America’s Problem-Solving Courts: The Criminal Costs of Treatment and the Case for Reform. The report provides a review of problem-solving courts — specifically drug courts — and includes recommendations that would enable these courts to more successfully manage people with substance abuse problems and alleviate the stress on prisons and taxpayers.

Many of these courts force people to enter a guilty plea in order to gain access to court-supervised treatment programs. Even if an addicted individual achieves lasting sobriety, learns to control antisocial behavior, and is unlikely to become a repeat offender, the consequences of a criminal conviction can be lifelong and devastating. As such, the NACDL Task Force’s overarching conclusion is that substance abuse should be t

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