December 2012 National Briefs

American Probation and Parole Association (APPA)

  • APPA issued a Call for Presenters for the 38th Annual Training Institute to be held in Baltimore, Maryland, July 28-31, 2013. The underlying goal of this training institute is to provide participants with workshop opportunities that emphasize skill-building, increase relevant competencies and enhance overall career development.

Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA)

Congress

  • Congress passed and President Obama signed a law reauthorizing highway funds. Called “Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century” or MAP-21, the law contains several Smart Justice provisions. Most notably, it authorizes funding for state driving coordinators who can address their respective state’s DUI laws on enforcement and adjudication, Traffic Safety Resource Prosecutors (TSRP), ignition interlock devices, alcohol screening and brief interventions for impaired drivers, and 24-7 Sobriety Programs.

Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA)

  • GHSA hosted its 2012 Annual Meeting entitled, Public Health + Highway Safety: Saving Lives Together, in Baltimore, MD. The 2012 GHSA Annual Meeting explored highway safety from the public health perspective, focusing on how to apply successes in public health and highway safety to continue improving safety on our nation’s roadways. It also examined how highway safety professionals can work more closely with the public health community to make highway safety a top public health priority. GHSA has a variety of post-conference materials available for review on their website. View Now »

Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD):

  • As part of the 2012 Mothers Against Drunk Driving National Conference, more than 300 drunk driving crash victims and survivors, MADD volunteers and supporters from across the country gathered at the U.S. Capitol for legislative meetings to urge Congressional action on two important measures: full funding for priority highway safety programs and passage of a Constitutional Amendment providing for crime victims’ rights.

National Association of Counties (NACo)

  • The NACo Justice and Public Safety Steering Committee passed a resolution supporting the use of continuous alcohol monitoring with house arrest as an alternative to incarceration for pre-trial defendants.

National Association of Drug Court Professionals (NADCP):

  • NADCP held the world’s largest conference on substance abuse, mental health and the criminal justice system as 4,300 Drug Court professionals, celebrities, veterans, national experts, policy leaders and Administration officials descended on Nashville, Tennessee for the 18th Annual NADCP Training Conference from May 30 – June 2. Highlights of the conference are posted on NADCP’s website.

National Center for DUI Courts (NCDC)

  • NCDC is pushing December for DWI Courts to raise the bar and educate their communities on what they are doing to save lives, be it a graduation, a meeting with their senator or representative, or some other activity. To help the discussion and promote the push, NCDC held an informational webinar on October 10th.  In coordination with the webinar, NCDC also released a DWI Court Field Kit that provides a variety of DWI Court resources including event ideas, a media packet, talking points, and holiday crack-down supporting materials.

National Center for State Courts (NCSC)

  • NCSC, in coordination with NHTSA, launched a new online tool for judges, court administrators, court clerks, and other court staff. The Traffic Resource Center. It acts as an integrated clearinghouse of information as well as a training and technical assistance resource to improve court decision-making and processing of traffic cases involving impaired driving, drugged driving, distracted driving, and commercial driving.

National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA)

  • NHTSA released a new report that provides a comprehensive look at transdermal alcohol monitoring programs in six jurisdictions across the country. The report, Transdermal Alcohol Monitoring: Case Studies, is part of NHTSA’s Impaired driving program and follows a report on Ignition Interlock Case Studies. NHTSA summarized, “information from these six case studies revealed that: a) use of transdermal alcohol monitoring of DWI offenders is increasing; b) transdermal alcohol monitoring appears to reliably monitor alcohol use by offenders and thus is beneficial to officials; c) transdermal-monitoring devices appear not to have any insurmountable problems.”

National Institute for Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA)

  • In 2010, the National Institutes of Health’s (NIH) Scientific Management Review Board issued a report recommending the merger of NIDA and the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA). As an alternative, the Board suggested the “functional integration of existing research resources.” On November 16, 2012, NIH Director Dr. Francis Collins issued a statement advising that NIH was pursuing the latter option. View Dr. Collins’ statement »

National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA)

  • In 2010, the National Institutes of Health’s (NIH) Scientific Management Review Board issued a report recommending the merger of NIDA and the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA). As an alternative, the Board suggested the “functional integration of existing research resources.” On November 16, 2012, NIH Director Dr. Francis Collins issued a statement advising that NIH was pursuing the latter option. View Dr. Collins’ statement »

Pew Charitable Trusts Public Safety Performance Project (PSPP)

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA)

  • SAMHSA has released a complete listing on its website of all of the fiscal year 2012 grants SAMHSA awarded. The site provides information about each of SAMHSA’s grant programs, as well as a listing of each of the grantees, their location, and the amount they are projected to receive.

The Century Council (TCC)

  • TCC has developed a webpage compiling information on Promising Programs that address drunk driving.

The Council of State Governments (CSG) Justice Center

  • The CSG Justice Center released Adults with Behavioral Health Needs under Correctional Supervision: A Shared Framework for Reducing Recidivism and Promoting Recovery. The report is written for policymakers, administrators, and service providers committed to improving outcomes for the large number of adults with mental health and substance use disorders that cycle through the criminal justice system. It introduces an evidence-based framework for prioritizing scarce resources based on assessments of individuals’ risk of committing a future crime and their treatment and support needs. The report also outlines the principles and practices of the substance abuse, mental health, and corrections systems and proposes a structure for state and local agencies to build collaborative responses.

The Urban Institute

  • The Urban Institute also released, “The Role of Screening and Assessment in Jail Reentry,” a research report that details the two-stage screening and assessment process to determine risk and need levels in the jail population. It describes the importance of screening and assessment in an evidence-based jail transition strategy, including: selecting screening and assessment instruments; implementing a screening and assessment process; and integrating risk and need information into comprehensive jail intervention strategies.

University of Florida Drug Policy Institute (DPI)

  • The University of Florida announced the creation of the DPI. DPI is led by Dr. Kevin Sabet, a former Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) political appointee under Presidents Clinton, Bush, and Obama.