Episode 77: Harm Production — The Hazards of Drug Courts with Dave Lucas

The United States sure loves to cage people. Incarceration statistics can be shocking, but they can be cited so often that they can lose their potency. It can seem abstract or just the way things are. But it is completely immoral that the U.S. throws more people into cages than any other country for which we have reliable data.

In order to partially address this problem, some jurisdictions have promoted the idea of drug courts, which the U.S. Dept of Health and Human Services defines as “alternative to incarceration, drug courts reduce the burden and costs of repeatedly processing low‐level, non‐violent offenders through the nation’s courts, jails, and prisons while providing offenders an opportunity to receive treatment and education.”

Sounds great, right? Well, as you’ll learn on today’s episode, drug courts come with their own set of problems, and in some ways, can make situations worse.

Narcotica co-hosts Chris Moraff and Troy Farah speak with Dave Lucas, a clinical advisor, social work educator, and therapist committed to reducing the harms of the criminal legal and substance use treatment systems. He serves as a Clinical Advisor with the Health and Justice Action Lab. They discuss drug testing, Measure 110 in Oregon, MAT in courtrooms, synthetic cannabinoids, what drug courts actually get right and much more.

Follow Dave on Twitter at: @davidewlucas

If you liked this episode, here are others you might enjoy:
Episode 45: Overdose Is Tragic, Not Murder with Morgan Godvin
Episode 73: Oh No! Not Naltrexone! with Nancy Curran
Episode 14: Harm Reduction Dies in Darkness—Jeff Deeney

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Producers: Christopher Moraff, Troy Farah, Zachary Siegel, Aaron Ferguson
Music: Glass Boy / Nomad1
Intro voice: Jenny Schaye
Image: The Noun Project edit: Troy Farah

One comment on “Episode 77: Harm Production — The Hazards of Drug Courts with Dave Lucas

  1. Legion says:

    As a Veteran of the War on Drugs I have first hand combat experience with how cruel & awful the Lane County Circuit Court Drug Court Program works in Eugene, Oregon.

    I was arrested on a possession through consumption charge when I overdosed on Heroin in the Winter of 1996.
    I overdosed on Black tar heroin while at my friends home. He was unaware I was using heroin yet recognized I had overdosed so he called 911. The police showed up first & arrested my unconscious body just as EMT Paramedics arrived. They administered Narcan twice and gave me CPR and had to remove the Felony ticket taped on my chest by the Cops! This Cop had a “ride along” who was snickering under his breath saying “I hope that stupid junkie dies! then we wont have to do this again”. Thankfully one of the older EMT guys stood up for me & screamed at the ride along creep & the rapist cop, the EMT said “Why don’t you both get the fuck out of here & leave this poor kid alone! He’s nearly died tonight and you’re here giving him a felony possession ticket while he’s overdosed unconscious on the floor?!! What the fucks wrong with you??!” The both left eventually. My friend Noah witnessed this transaction & was horrified at the cops behavior. He called 911 for help! not harassment.

    In the 1990’s in Oregon if you overdosed on a drug and someone called 911 for help, it often resulted in your being arrested and charged with UPCS 1-possession of a controlled substance, a Class A Felony!
    The summons options were to either Plead guilty & be charged with a felony for life! Or opt to go into Drug Court and become a state slave for a minimum of 12-18 months.

    Drug Court is nothing less than Institutional Slavery! It’s created, maintained & supported by the Circuit Courts and Law Enforcement, & the Prison, Jail, & Probation/Parole Industry! If you use Drugs you are targeted to become a slave in support of this monstrous system! One that brutalizes and in several cases has kills innocent citizens! Its a racket the Justice System uses to maintain itself!

    Drug courts were created as one more idea or option to create Slaves for the Plutocracy. Drug Courts are a vehicle to saddle people who peacefully use substances with felonies, the kind you can never escape, never expunge! UPCS 1 Felons in Oregon cannot own or posses guns, they cannot vote, they cannot get rentals or housing in certain locations, they cannot apply for student aid
    or take out business loans! Drug Courts are designed solely to enslave & ruin lives.

    Those who fail to complete all the requirements of drug court are forced back into court to be convicted of UPCS 1 a Felony Possession of a controlled substance charge that involves 18-24 months in prison! A $10-$25k fine and after 18-24 months in prison you get 24-48 months post prison probation or parole that requires drug treatment and UA’s and court monthly court & parole supervision fees! This set up is a way they can get you in position to be so frustrated that you violate your terms of parole or probation and get arrested so as to start the entire court proceedings all over again!! Probation & Parole systems are vehicles for maintaining citizens as slaves in order to fund the corrupt and evil Drug Court system. There zero Reduction of Harm in Drug Courts. They are the Harm!!!

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