Decemeber 2009 National Briefs

American Society of Addiction Medicine

  • ASAM conducted its 6th Annual Legislative Day in October, advocating for the inclusion of addiction treatment benefits, education, and training for addiction treatment professionals, as well as parity for addicts in the health care reform bill.

  • ASAM also released an updated version of Principles of Addiction Medicine. The book is available here.

Bureau of Justice Assistance

  • The BJA provided over $12 million in FY 09 Recovery Act Edward Byrne Memorial grant funding to nine agencies and organizations to support problem-solving courts. Click here for details.

Council of State Governments Justice Center

  • The CSG Justice Center, in collaboration with the Urban Institute, American Probation and Parole Association, Association of State Correctional Administrators, and the Center for Juvenile Justice Reform at Georgetown University, launched the National Reentry Resource Center. The Center serves government agencies, nonprofit organizations, correctional institutions, and others. The Center was authorized by the Second Chance Act and is funded by a grant from the Bureau of Justice Assistance, U.S. Department of Justice.

Institute for Behavior and Health

  • The IBH has had multiple meetings in recent months and is in the process of developing (1) a model DUI law addressing alcohol impaired and drugged driving; (2) a model program for DUI offenders; and (3) a paper detailing the research on DUI enforcement and sanctioning. Learn more about the IBH here.

Insurance Institute on Highway Safety

  • The IIHS released a survey showing that two-thirds of Americans support the use of advanced technologies to stop drunk drivers from operating their vehicles. Forty percent indicated they would be willing to install it in their own vehicles if it were an option.

National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers

  • The NACDL Task Force on Problem Solving Courts held hearings in seven cities with more than 130 people. They obtained questionnaire responses from over 300 attorneys on issues related to problem solving courts. The Task Force produced a position statement and a summary report, available here.

National Association of Drug Court Professionals

  • In October, NADCP re-launched and re-branded their website as This site is filled with information, resources, and NADCP recommendations on drug courts, problem-solving courts, addiction, and recovery.

  • NADCP also launched the Veterans Treatment Court Clearinghouse, the nation’s only comprehensive site dedicated solely to news and information about Veterans Treatment Courts.

National Center for DWI Courts

  • NCDC is providing training for drug courts interested in handling DWI cases in 2010. Scholarships were made available through a grant from the Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA), U.S. Department of Justice, that defray some of the costs associated with travel and lodging. For information on additional opportunities, contact NCDC Director David Wallace.

National District Attorneys Association

  • NDAA joined a growing group of major national organizations who have passed resolutions supporting DWI Courts. Other groups endorsing the courts include: the Governors Highway Safety Association, the International Association of Chiefs of Police, Mothers Against Drunk Driving, National Alcohol Beverage Control Association, and the National Sheriffs Association. To access the resolutions, click here.

National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

  • In December, President Obama and the White House announced the nomination of David L. Strickland to serve as the new administrator for NHTSA. Currently the lead staff person for NHTSA oversight, Strickland is recognized as an expert in vehicle fuel economy, vehicle safety, and driver behavior factors. A coalition of criminal justice and highway safety groups, including NPAMC, the National Association of Drug Court Professionals, The Century Council, the National District Attorneys Association, the American Probation and Parole Association, and the National Association of Prosecutor Coordinators released a statement applauding the nomination.

  • NHTSA has just released an Early Edition of their 2008 Traffic Safety Facts. Click here to download the PDF.
  • December is National Drunk & Drugged Driving Prevention Month (3D). The 3D effort is sponsored by GHSA, MADD, and NHTSA. For more information, see

National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism

  • The NIAAA’s Alcohol Policy Information System (APIS) was updated in late September 2009. The APIS site is a terrific resource.

National Institute of Corrections

  • NIC is offering training, including online training, on a variety of issues. Find out more.

National Institute on Drug Abuse

  • NIDA has developed a YouTube site that provides access to NIDA educational videos and PSAs.

The Safe, Accountable Flexible Efficient Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy for Users

  • SAFETEA-LU expired on September 30, 2009. Congress passed and is expected to continue passing a series of one-month extensions until the successor bill can be prioritized.

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration

  • President Obama nominated, and the Senate confirmed, Pamela S. Hyde to serve as administrator of SAMHSA. More information.

  • SAMHSA has also released the latest Treatment Episode Data Set (TEDS) Report in August 2009. The report documented several important findings. First, the justice system was the largest source of referrals, accounting for 37 percent (up from 33 percent in 1992). Second, offenders referred from the justice system tended to be significantly younger than others referred for treatment. Third, a significantly greater percentage of offenders were male and employed than their counterparts. Finally, offenders “were less likely than all other referral admissions to drop out of treatment (22 percent vs. 27 percent).” These findings are consistent with other evidence suggesting that people can be coerced into seeking and participating in treatment.
  • SAMHSA awarded more than $38 million in grant funds to help expand adult drug treatment courts. Click here for a list of recipients and amounts.

Treatment Research Institute

  • The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s Center for Substance Abuse Treatment (CSAT) funded the National Quality Forum (NQF) “to identify a set of national standards for treatment of substance use conditions.” In 2007, the NQF released a consensus-based report entitled, National Standards for the Treatment of Substance Use Conditions. The report documents the consensus views of over 375 stakeholders.

  • In September 2009, TRI conducted an implementation workshop attended by 25 states, as well as various agencies and organizations. For more information about this project, contact Mady Chalk, TRI Director of the Center for Policy Analysis and Research.

US Department of Justice Bureau of Justice Statistics

  • The BJS has released abstracts for their 2008 reports on both prisoner and probation or parole supervision across the U.S. Both reports, Prisoners in 2008 and Probation and Parole in the United States (2008), provide detailed appendixes with information about particular states, methodologies, and notes that describe how jurisdictions collect and report the data.