The Addiction Policy Forum’s first addiction forum convened in April 2014 to discuss addiction in the United States and how those with substance use disorders interface with the criminal justice system. Experts from around the country joined Washington’s leading addiction policymakers to begin the process of shedding national light on this difficult subject. The state of federal policy and opportunities for progress were identified. The first Congressional Addiction Forum was held on April 29, 2014 in the Dirksen Senate Office Building. Hosting Sens. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) and Rob Portman (R-OH) were joined by Gov. Peter Shumlin (D-VT), Co-Chair of the National Governors Association Prescription Drug Abuse Project as keynote speakers. Five panels discussed then discussed the current state of addiction and how it is addressed within the criminal justice system. The first panel, “Advancements and Challenges in Addiction, Treatment and Criminal Justice,” featured panelists Rep. Frank Wolf (R-VA), Former Rep. Alan Mollohan (D-WV), Dr. Redonna Chandler, Acting Director, Division of Epidemiology, Services and Prevention Research, National Institute on Drug Abuse, Bill Nettles, U.S. Attorney for South Carolina, A.T. Wall, Director of the Rhode Island Department of Corrections and President of the Association of State Correctional Administrators, and Richard Pops, CEO of Alkermes, Inc. The second panel, “Addiction and Criminal Justice: Addressing Recidivism, Diversion and Heroin,” featured Sen. Portman and Michael Botticelli, Acting Director of the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy. The third panel, “Recidivism and Addiction,” included panelists Mike Thompson, Director of the Council of State Governments Justice Center, Chief Jim Bueermann, President of the Police Foundation, John Baldwin, Director of the Iowa Department of Corrections, Dr. Rebecca Hogamier, Director of the Division of Behavioral Health Services of the Washington County Health Department, and Dr. Thomas McLellan, CEO and co-founder of the Treatment Research Institute. The fourth panel, “Diversion and Alternatives to Incarceration,” included panelists Pam Rodriguez, President of TASC Illinois, Chief Jim Pugel, retired, of the Seattle Police Department, Jim Nettles, U.S. Attorney for South Carolina, Judge Rancourt, Immediate Past President of the National Association of Drug Court Professionals, and Dr. Elinore McCance-Katz, Chief Medical Officer of the Center for Substance Abuse Treatment, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The final panel, “Heroin and Opiates,” featured U.S. Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT), State Sen. Richard Sears, Chair of the Vermont Senate Committee on Judiciary, Joseph Rannazzisi, Deputy Administrator for the Office of Diversion Control, Drug Enforcement Administration, Tom Strickrath, Superintendent, Ohio Attorney General’s Office, Leonard Mayo of Ohio, Dr. Chuck O’Brien, Founding Director of the Center for Studies of Addiction at the University of Pennsylvania, and Sheriff Richard Stanek of Hennepin County, Minnesota. Sen. Whitehouse then offered closing remarks.
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