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President Obama calls for Drug Court Expansion in Historic Criminal Justice Reform Speech

WASHINGTON, July 16, 2015 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- The National Association of Drug Court Professionals applauds President Obama's statement supporting Drug Courts during the NAACP's 106th annual convention in Philadelphia, PA. During his speech President Barack Obama called for serious reforms within the criminal justice system highlighting Drug Courts as a cost saving alternative to incarceration.

"We should invest in alternatives to prison like Drug Courts and treatment and probation programs which ultimately can save taxpayers thousands of dollars each year," said President Obama.

Research shows that Drug Courts are an investment that delivers significant returns. Approximately 75% of those who complete Drug Court remain arrest free. For every $1.00 invested in Drug Court, taxpayers save as much as $3.36 in avoided criminal justice costs alone. When considering other cost offsets such as savings from reduced victimization and healthcare service utilization, studies have shown benefits range up to $27 for every $1 invested. As a result, Drug Courts produce cost savings ranging from $3,000 to $13,000 per client. These cost savings reflect reduced prison costs, reduced revolving-door arrests and trials, and reduced victimization.

Currently, there are over 2,900 Drug Courts nationwide. "Drug Courts have been the bedrock of criminal justice reform for the past 26 years," said the National Association of Drug Court Professionals (NADCP) interim CEO Carolyn Hardin. "Each year, Drug Courts refer over 140,000 seriously addicted individuals to treatment, and produce staggering cost-savings to taxpayers. Drug Courts are not the only solution, but coupled with other evidence-based reforms the expansion of Drug Courts will reduce our overburdened justice system. We are honored that President Obama focused the spotlight on Drug Courts in such an important speech."

From July 27-30, 5,000 Drug Court professionals and program graduates will descend on Washington, DC for the NADCP 21st Annual Training Conference and will spend July 29 on Capitol Hill urging lawmakers to support Drug Court and Veterans Treatment Court funding.

On July 30, NADCP will release the Adult Drug Court Best Practice Standards Volume II, a groundbreaking set of measurable and evidence-based practices culled from decades of substance abuse treatment and correctional rehabilitation research. The Standards will ensure that the expansion of Drug Courts is done in accordance with what the research proves works. Armed with this set of evidence-based practices, judges, prosecutors, defense council, probation and law enforcement can work together with treatment providers to implement Drug Court in the most effective way possible for those who need it most.

Media interested in learning more about Drug Courts, speaking with national experts on Drug Courts and Drug Court Standards, or attending any of the NADCP conference should contact NADCP at cdeutsch@nadcp.org, 571-384-1857 or rpence@nadcp.org, 571-384-1862.

CONTACT: Chris Deutsch NADCP 571-384-1857 cdeutsch@nadcp.org

Source:Association of Drug Court Professionals