National Sheriffs' Association Endorses South Dakota 24-7 Sobriety Project
In June 2011, the National Sheriffs’ Association (NSA) recognized the tremendous success of the South Dakota 24-7 Sobriety Project, endorsed the program and granted NPAMC a limited license to use the NSA name and logo in connection with it (this license is non-transferable, the logo may not be used by any other entity without the express permission of the National Sheriffs’ Association). Congratulations to all of the South Dakota officials and entities that developed the model and helped educate the rest of us, most notably: Former Attorney General and Judge Larry Long, Attorney General Marty Jackley, Former Project Director Bill Mickelson, Sheriff Byron Nogelmeier, Sheriff Mike Milstead, and Sheriff Don Holloway, and Sheriff Mike Leidholt. Special thanks to Judge Long, AG Jackley, Mr. Mickelson and Sheriff Leidholt, who have worked with NPAMC to promote to program nationally.
NPAMC CEO Message
Taking Smart Justice to Scale
In 2010, NPAMC concluded a five part series of meetings where we established national consensus on a variety of issues. We noted that the majority of offenders suffer from alcohol and/or drug misuse issues and recognized that incarceration, while a valuable tool, does not change most of these offenders’ behavior long term.
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Overview of the Smarter Sentencing Program in Union County
Paul Meason, Director of South Arkansas Substance Abuse (SASA)
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The Governor signed a bill (HB 168) supported by NPAMC that enhances the penalties and remedial measures for repeat DUI offenders. The new law increases the minimum sentences of incarceration but allows judges to suspend significant jail or prison time for offenders who abstain from using alcohol or drugs, participate in treatment, and demonstrate their willingness to control their drinking through continuous alcohol monitoring.
The Governor signed LB 667, revising the state’s DUI laws and, most notably, the Administrative License Revocation (ALR) system. The original ALR language was proposed by NPAMC, in collaboration with Omaha City Prosecutor Marty Conboy. Under the new law, a DUI arrestee who obtains an interlock license during his or her administrative license suspension period is given day for day credit against any license revocation period imposed upon conviction.
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National Transportation Safety Board
The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) released its annual list of the 10 most wanted safety issues impacting transportation in the United States. NTSB Board Member Dr. Mark Rosekind called for a comprehensive approach. NTSB recommended “assess[ing] offenders for underlying alcohol problems, requir[ing] appropriate treatment, and hold[ing] them accountable for behavioral change. Assessment and treatment must be combined with vehicle sanctions that separate individuals from their vehicles or prevent them from operating their vehicles while under the influence of alcohol. To reduce recidivism, the use of jail alternatives should be expanded to include dedicated jail/treatment facilities, home detention with electronic monitoring, or intensive supervision probation.”
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On July 17-18, the Canadian Centre on Substance Abuse (CCSA) co-hosted the International Symposium on Drugs and Driving with the U.S. White House Office of National Drug Control Policy, the U.S. National Institute on Drug Abuse, the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the European Monitoring Centre on Drugs and Drug Addiction. The symposium drew experts in a variety of disciplines from around the world.
Strathclyde, Scotland’s largest police force, introduced a plan that would prohibit offenders accused of certain violent crimes from drinking while on bail. Program participants would be required to submit to breath alcohol testing up to twice a day and incarcerated immediately if they tested positive. The proposal followed a successful trial in domestic violence cases in Renfrewshire and Inverclyde.
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The United States Supreme Court ordered California to release more than 35,000 prisoners or impose other measures to reduce prison overcrowding in a 5-4 decision. Almost 145,000 inmates are incarcerated in California prisons, which were designed to hold only 80,000 inmates. Justice Kennedy noted backlogs approaching 700 prisoners waiting to see physicians and instances where up to 54 inmates shared a single toilet. See Brown v. Plata.
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Selected Research Summaries
NHSTA and the Pacific Institute of Research and Evaluation (PIRE) released their long anticipated study of three Georgia DWI courts. PIRE found that DWI court participants recidivated 38% less often than a Contemporary Group of offenders and 65% less often than a Retrospective Group. The results were particularly compelling because the study included al DWI court participants, including those who “failed” the program. PIRE estimated that the three courts prevented between 47 and 112 arrests during the four year study period.
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