Martin Sheen, Former DEA Admin. Asa Hutchinson in Groundbreaking Strange Bedfellows Panel Discussion

Leaders from all sides of the aisle to explore what may be the only national issue on which there is agreement: Drug Courts.

Online PR News – 16-July-2011 – – WASHINGTON, DC– A groundbreaking panel discussion of national leaders from both political parties and backgrounds will help kick off the 17th Annual Drug Court Training Conference on Monday, July 18th from 8 a.m.- 10 a.m. at the Gaylord National Hotel and Convention Center in National Harbor, MD.

Conservatives and liberals alike agree that the ongoing budget crisis provides a unique opportunity to end American’s costly over-reliance on incarceration. Drug Courts sit squarely at the center of this reform, but their widespread support is not borne out of the same political principles. “Strange Bedfellows: The Political Appeal of Drug Courts” will mark the first time a national panel with such vastly different political views has come together to discuss the reasons behind their support of Drug Courts. Panelists include Emmy Award-winning actor, Martin Sheen; former Drug Czar, Bill Bennett; former Member of Congress and DEA Administrator Asa Hutchinson (R-AR); acclaimed actor, Harry Lennix; Former Indiana Attorney General and Gary, Indiana Democratic mayoral primary winner Judge (ret.) Karen Freeman-Wilson, Last Comic Standing winner, Alonzo Bodden; and Alabama Chief Justice Sue Bell Cobb. Former U.S. Congressman Jim Ramstad (R-MN) will moderate the event.

“Across the board, stakeholders, policymakers, and concerned citizens are talking about ways to reform our justice system. Drug Courts not only have the proven history and success but broad political appeal,” said NADCP CEO West Huddleston. “From saving money to saving lives, from eliminating racial disparities to protecting public safety, from cutting crime to restoring families, from helping veterans to stopping impaired drivers, Drug Courts are championed by pragmatists on all sides of the debate. This discussion will move us closer to understanding the widespread political appeal of Drug Courts and advance our understanding of why Drug Courts are the proven budget solution this country needs.”

Drug Courts reduce drug addiction, crime, and recidivism while saving money for taxpayers. Through a combination of treatment and strict accountability, seriously drug addicted individuals are given the strategies to become productive members of their community, saving taxpayers billions annually. Nationally, 75% of those who complete Drug Court never see another pair of handcuffs and Drug Courts save up to $27 for every $1 invested.

The “Strange Bedfellows” discussion is just one event over a four-day period which also includes trainings, remarks by the National Commissioner Against Addictions and Office of the President of the United Mexican States, a Capitol Hill rally, a Senate Judiciary Committee Hearing, a keynote address from music legend and Drug Court graduate, Trey Anastasio, and closing ceremony remarks from General (ret.) Barry McCaffrey, former U.S. Drug Czar. The event is open to conference members from across the country and the media.

About National Association of Drug Court Professionals (NADCP)
Drug Courts combine rigorous drug treatment and accountability to compel and support drug-using offenders to change their lives. After 22 years of innovation, there are now over 2,500 Drug Courts located in all 50 states. Since 1994, the National Association of Drug Court Professionals (NADCP), a non-profit organization 501 (c) (3) representing over 27,000 multi-disciplinary justice professionals and community leaders, has worked tirelessly at the national, state, and local level to create and enhance Drug Courts. NADCP is now recognized as the experts in the field of addiction and the criminal justice system. For more information, visit www.AllRise.org.

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Ryan Prucker
Imagelight

315.430.7584