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