LUBBOCK, Texas, April 2, 2014 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Governor Rick Perry visited Lubbock, Texas today to receive the National Association of Drug Court Professionals (NADCP) Governor of the Year Award for his incredible work to transform the Texas criminal justice system. Under his leadership, Texas has become a national and international model of reform. This year marks the 25th anniversary of Drug Courts and Governor Perry is the first to receive this honor.
When Governor Perry took office Texas had just seven Drug Courts. Governor Perry has championed alternatives to incarceration for non-violent addicted offenders and expanded Drug Courts and other Specialty Courts throughout Texas. Today, Texas is home to 136 Drug Courts and 15 innovative Veterans Treatment Courts. The evidence-based reforms he has implemented have saved an estimated $2 billion in new prison spending, led to the closing of several prisons, reduced parole violations and driven crime rates down to historic lows.
NADCP CEO West Huddleston presented the award to Governor Perry along with Judge Ruben Reyes who presides over Drug Court for the 72nd District Court.
"Governor Perry has transformed how the Texas criminal justice system responds to people who need rehabilitation, and the rest of the nation is taking notice," said NADCP CEO West Huddleston. "Governor Perry had the vision to recognize the devastating social, economic and personal cost of addiction. Rather than continuing to send more Texans to prison, he took action to institute evidence-based responses that combine accountability and extensive treatment. As a result, Drug Courts abound throughout Texas, changing lives, cutting crime and saving money. Because of his leadership, tens of thousands of lives have been saved, families have been restored, and taxpayers have been spared the burden of building new prisons. For taking such a strong stand for smart, effective justice, Governor Perry deserves our Governor of the Year Award."
"Our specialty courts, ranging from drug courts to family courts to veterans courts, provide an opportunity to those willing to work hard to regain control of their lives," Governor Perry said. "These programs are about ensuring that those who are willing to commit to the challenges of overcoming dependency have that opportunity. It's about helping people minimize the damage they've done to their lives. And, it's about keeping families together."
Judge Reyes has seen firsthand the lives saved by Governor Perry's reforms and is hosting the awards ceremony in his courtroom. "Governor Perry's efforts have not only saved money, but has saved futures and families throughout Texas," said Judge Reyes. "I had the honor of serving on Governor Perry's Criminal Justice Advisory Council where I witnessed his unwavering commitment to reform that is cost-effective and evidence-based. The impact of his efforts will be felt for generations to come."
Facts of Drug Courts
- This year marks the 25th Anniversary of Drug Courts.
- Texas is home to 136 Drug Courts and 15 Veterans Treatment Courts.
- There are now 2,800 Drug Courts nationwide
- Drug Courts refer more people to treatment than any other system in America.
- Nationally, 75% of the people who complete Drug Courts are never arrested again.
- Drug Courts save up to $13,000 for every individual they serve.
- Drug Courts return up to $27 for every $1 invested.
Since 1994, NADCP has worked tirelessly at the international, national, state and local level to create and enhance Drug Courts; including adult, juvenile, family, reentry and tribal models; DWI Courts, and Veterans Treatment Courts.
Today, the award-winning NADCP is the premier national repository, training, and advocacy organization for the Drug Court model, representing over 27,000 multi-disciplinary justice professionals and community leaders. NADCP hosts the largest multi-disciplinary annual training conference on substance abuse and crime in the world, topping 4,300 attendees this year. In addition, NADCP hosts the nation's only training convention dedicated to efforts to help justice-involved veterans.
A photo accompanying this release is available at http://www.globenewswire.com/newsroom/prs/?pkgid=24565
CONTACT: Chris Deutsch National Association of Drug Court Professionals firstname.lastname@example.org 202-222-8105
Source:Association of Drug Court Professionals