December 2010 National Briefs

American Probation and Parole Association

  • APPA and TCC also announced the availability of a FREE online training course, Enhancing Community Supervision Strategies for Hardcore Drunk Drivers. The goal of this course is to educate community corrections professionals about the latest evidence-based and promising supervision practices that can be used to more effectively respond to and address the needs of hardcore drunk drivers.
  • The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) provided funding to APPA to develop a risk assessment instrument to identify offenders according to their probability to be rearrested for a subsequent DWI. APPA has developed a preliminary report and draft risk assessment tool. The second phase of development is to pilot test the assessment tool in multiple jurisdictions across the country. Agencies interested in participating should contact Matthew DeMichele at APPA for more information.

Council of State Governments

  • In an effort to curtail prescription drug abuse, 43 states have implemented or are in the process of implementing Prescription Monitoring Programs that track the purchase of medications. In order to enhance the programs, the Council of State Governments (CSG) is developing an interstate compact that would allow states to share their information. Once six states opt in, the program will become operational.

Department of Health and Human Services

  • The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) launched a new website that provides comprehensive information on health care reform.

Governors Highway Safety Association

  • GHSA Chairman Vernon F. Betkey released GHSA’s priorities for 2011. Of particular note, GHSA seeks an increase in highway safety funding, the establishment of national and state performance goals, and enhanced data collection and analysis.

Institute for Behavior and Health

  • On October 4, 2010, the Institute for Behavior and Health, Inc. (IBH) held an international drug policy symposium featuring R. Gil Kerlikowske, director of the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) and Nora D. Volkow, M.D., director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA). At the symposium IBH honored Per Johansson, secretary general of the Swedish National Association for a Drug Free Society (RNS) and co-founder of the World Federation Against Drugs (WFAD) with the John P. McGovern Award for his outstanding global work to reduce illegal drug use.

  • On November 4, 2010, IBH held a lecture focused on the importance of the Recovery Movement, featuring leaders of successful treatment programs, researchers, and policymakers. IBH honored William L. White, MA, senior research consultant at Chestnut Health Systems with the John P. McGovern Award for his many years as the leading historian and the inspiration of addiction treatment and the Recovery Movement.

Join Together

Justice Management Institute

  • The Justice Management Institute (JMI) has embarked on two new major initiatives funded by the Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA). The Smarter Sentencing to Reduce Recidivism Project launches a new national training and technical assistance program for teams of prosecutors, judges, defense counsel, and community corrections professionals on the design and implementation of evidence-based sentencing strategies in their communities.

  • JMI, along with the Pretrial Justice Institute (PJI) and the National Association of Counties (NaCO) are also launching the first ever national network of local criminal justice coordinating councils (CJCC). The project is designed to strengthen the ability of local policymakers to improve local level criminal justice planning and policy development by providing a forum for discussing common issues and concerns, sharing information about strategies for overcoming challenges facing local justice systems, and facilitating a learning exchange on promising and evidence-based practices. JMI and its partners are currently soliciting applications from interested CJCCs for inclusion in the network. For further information, contact Elaine Nugent.

Mothers Against Drunk Driving

  • Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) celebrated 30 years of advocacy with three days of events in Washington, DC, including a rally on Capitol Hill, lobbying for increased interlock sanctions, passage of the ROADS SAFETY ACT, and an awards program.

National Association of Drug Court Professionals

  • The National Association of Prosecutor Coordinators announced that it is joining the growing list of associations and organizations that formally support DWI Courts.

National Association of Prosecutor Coordinators

  • The National Association of Prosecutor Coordinators (NAPC) announced that it is joining the growing list of associations and organizations that formally support DWI Courts.

National Center for DWI Courts

  • NCDC is accepting applications for DWI Court Training. Applications are due at state highway safety offices on December 15, 2010. Those who already have travel funds can submit applications directly to NHTSA by December 30, 2010. Contact Brian Chodrow (NHSTA) or David Wallace (NCDC) for an application and/or further information.

National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

  • The National Center for Statistics and Analysis (NCSA) released the 2009 Traffic Safety Annual Assessment highlighting 2009 traffic fatalities and injuries. Among other information, the report provides data on alcohol-impaired driving fatalities for each state.

  • NHTSA released the National Survey of Drinking and Driving Attitudes and Behaviors: 2008. Approximately 20% of those 16 and over had driven a vehicle within two hours of drinking alcohol during the previous year. About 30% of drinking drivers reported that they drove at least once when they thought they were over the illegal limit. Additionally, 8% rode with a driver who they thought had consumed too much alcohol to drive safely.
  • NHTSA also published a notice in the Federal Register proposing Model Specifications for Breath Alcohol Ignition Interlock Devices (BAIIDS), 75 FR 61820. The opportunity to make comments is closed.
  • NHTSA held an interlock symposium in Washington, DC, that focused on state and local implementation issues and solutions.
  • NHTSA provided funding to APPA to develop a risk assessment instrument to identify offenders according to their probability to be rearrested for a subsequent DWI. APPA has developed a preliminary report and draft risk assessment tool. The second phase of development is to pilot test the assessment tool in multiple jurisdictions across the country. Agencies interested in participating should contact Matthew DeMichele at APPA for more information.

National Institute of Justice

National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism and the National Institute on Drug Abuse

  • National Institutes of Health (NIH) Director Dr. Francis S. Collins accepted the recommendation of the Scientific Management Review Board (SMRB) and announced a plan to replace the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) and the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) with a new National Institute on Addictions. Click here to read Dr. Collins’ statement.

National Transportation Safety Board

  • The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) released its 2011 list of “ Most Wanted Transportation Safety Improvements." Of particular significance, they recommended the use of special sanction court-based programs such as DWI courts for hard core DWI offenders to reduce hard core drunk driving.

Office of National Drug Control Policy

  • Director Gil Kerlikowske of the Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) was nominated by Representative Bono Mack for the American Medical Association’s Outstanding Government Service Award.

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration

The Century Council

  • APPA and TCC also announced the availability of a FREE online training course, Enhancing Community Supervision Strategies for Hardcore Drunk Drivers. The goal of this course is to educate community corrections professionals about the latest evidence-based and promising supervision practices that can be used to more effectively respond to and address the needs of hardcore drunk drivers.