In response to the Equal Justice Foundation newsletter of July 10, 2011, titled Drug Courts Are Not The Answer: Toward A Health-Centered Approach To Drug Use I have received the following response from Mr. West Huddleston, chief executive officer of the National Association of Drug Court Professionals (NADCP).
From: West Huddleston
I would expect a man of your intelligence would consider the actual published research on a topic before forming an opinion. The DPA report is fraught with inaccuracies; turning a blind eye to the science. Please distribute our attached responses to DPA's report to your mailing list so your readers may make up their own minds if the Drug Court model is 'the answer'.
Attached to Mr. Huddleston's response were two flyers published by the NADCP. However, the EJF newsletter goes to more than 42 countries, and attachments generally don't go through. Therefore, I have provided links to those flyers instead (I feel it safe to assume that all our readers can access Adobe Acrobat PDF files):
For reference, here is the link for the report by the Drug Policy Alliance Drug Courts Are Not the Answer: Toward a Health-Centered Approach to Drug Use. it is also useful to note that pages 25 through 28 of their report lists 194 references for their work, quite sufficient to justify my original statement that it "... makes a well documented and researched case."
For clarification, it should also be noted that the Equal Justice Foundation has always opposed Prohibitions And The War On Drugs.
"[It] is of particular interest since the veteran court in Colorado Springs, and many elsewhere, have adopted a punitive drug court model that requires a plea bargain (conviction) before admittance. Further, an analysis of 1,000 veteran arrests in El Paso County (Colorado Springs), Colorado, found (p. 6) that only 14% of the cases involved drug and substance abuse. In combination with the Drug Policy Alliance report, our findings make it abundantly clear that a punitive drug-court model is the wrong answer for dealing with veterans suffering from post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), traumatic brain injuries (TBI), or the other wounds of war."
A conviction of any type, but particularly for domestic violence, which is an extremely common manifestation of PTSD, TBI, and other wounds of war, leaves veterans dead men walking.
As others may well want to comment on this contentious issue I will post a link to this newsletter on the Equal Justice Foundation Facebook page where comments are welcome. I will also flesh out my objections to the NADCP position there. Also, please feel free to start a discussion there on the pros and cons of the War on Drugs and how drug use should be dealt with in a free society.
You wrote: "I would expect a man of your intelligence would consider the actual published research on a topic before forming an opinion. The DPA report is fraught with inaccuracies; turning a blind eye to the science."
Mr. Huddleston, I would expect a man of your intelligence to consider that some of the people on Dr. Corry's email list would have actually expected for you to point out, with specificity, the alleged inaccuracies. Failing to do so makes your opinion suspect.
The War on Drugs is a classic case of the government creating a problem, then proposing solution, i.e., drug courts. While the NADCP claims drug courts save money the War on Drugs has spent $22 billion so far this year. Hard to see how drug courts are saving taxpayers that much money?
The very existence of a "National Association of Drug Court Professionals" seems to this foreign citizen to be Bad News. Such associations can only exist where there is a lot of money to be made, would you agree? At a time when the US Government and many "State" governments are spending more than they take in, could such huge expenditures, as the existence of a "National Association of Drug Court Professionals" implies, be in the public interest? I can't see how!
I am far from expert on any drugs; and those i know even halfway are lawful: Caffeine and alcohol. I have read much about cannabis and have argued for decades that it should be taxed and sold as alcohol is taxed and sold. Then Government would spend little or no net revenue on it; and might indeed "make a good deal of money". In terms of production, i would guess cannabis is more like tobacco than like alcoholic drink, but all three can be home-produced for home use.
What i read seems to indicate that some drugs are damaging enough not to be treated that way; perhaps "Crystal Meth" is such a drug. I should not try to guess how to treat all drugs nor what drugs other than cannabis should receive the "same as tobacco and alcohol" approach. I will comment that i very seldom take any beer or wine on days when i drive, at least not until the driving is all done; and i usually have one or the other on days when i don't drive. I've made my own beer and wine for about 40 years... and yes, I'm retirement age.
We don't know the effects of most drugs on driving as we do that of alcohol [and what we know about alcohol doesn't justify <.08% for most drivers, but does for an unknown fraction of them]...so making life less car-dependent would be a valuable adjunct to a sane drug policy.
What drug policy would your region formulate if the process were democratic in the Athenian-Jeffersonian-Swiss s sense of the word? I doubt there would be funding for a "National Association of Drug Court Professionals" in a democratically designed and operated policy.
If the "National Association of Drug Court Professionals" has made a false statement [e.g. "turning a blind eye to the science"] in pursuit of their self-interests, perhaps they have made enough others that victims of "Drug Courts" could sue them as a class. Perhaps the "Drug Policy Alliance" would be the party to sue them.
In a way, what you write about veterans, reminds me of the "Wild West", where so many US Civil War veterans went after that War. As a Canadian Metis [though my Metis grandfather lived in the US, my own work has been in Canada] i have read much and seen some, of self-governance and local self-policing that work. My own intuition is that cops and soldiers are mostly good people, when working with and for the public rather than a bureaucracy.
Wouldn't hurt to convene some circles of vets, 'breeds,' rural people more generally I'd guess, to design forms of real democracy for today's ecological and technological circumstances. You'll almost certainly think of Jefferson; i would also name Swiss history, perhaps Secwepemc experience ["Thompson" river watershed in B.C.] though i believe most of their thousand years of experience was without writing.
Davd Martin, Ph.D.
Editor, Ecoforestry, 2007-09
I read carefully the materials in regard to the Drug Court Professionals and frankly I am disgusted with the answer of West Huddleston (including other "scientific" materials linked to his organization(s)). Under the guise of science he tries to defend incredible shortcomings of his institution which appears to be one of many well connected to the Government entities which clandestinely drain taxpayers money for highly questionable unaccounted for, bogus activities. If the NADCP is such a "science based" organization then why can't it come with numbers in terms of cured cases (or lives) vs. money spent? Instead Mr. Huddleston uses widely meaningless phraseology like "Saving lives, saving money etc." which makes him and his business even more suspicious to a normal person. Obviously Mr. Huddleston does not know what the word "Science" means. In time of economic hardship our society does not need bogus organizations. I hope that the current socioeconomic situation will result in cleaning the system from unnecessary non- productive vines while retaining truly needed, not corrupted ones. As and ex- government worker I experienced first hand mechanics of the vines clinging to the system where intolerable in private business inefficiency and mismanagement could be observed on daily basis.
In summary I would like to see more accountability on the part of the organizations like NADCP and like ones where the primary goal should be true help the folks who often gave up their lives for their country and curbing the activities where the major untold goal is defending well paid positions of few. Justice has many faces in our court system. All too often it is applied differently in different cases by entrusted by the society courts "professionals" who in quest for their own well being do not hesitate to breach the most sacred principles like constitutional amendments, leaving behind "scorched land" and destruction. That is why the society should be more and more vigilant in guarding and acting in cases like the one above.
In reading the flyers sent by Mr. Huddleston of the NADCP in response to the criticisms contained in Drug Courts Are Not The Answer I was struck by the similarities of their response to the methods used in advocacy research. I described these methods in an article I wrote nearly a decade ago. Under the veil of social science, elaborate research methods are employed, or made to seem to have been employed, in an attempt to persuade the public and policy makers that a problem is vastly larger than commonly recognized.
According to Gilbert (1993, p. 127) this is done in several ways:
(c) By asserting that a variety of smaller studies and reports with different problem definitions, methodologies of diverse quality, and varying results form a cumulative block of evidence in support of current findings; and
Gilbert (1993, p. 127) goes on to say that:
"[Advocacy research] is practiced in a wide variety of substantive problem areas and supported by groups that...share an 'ideological imperative' that maintains that findings politically acceptable to the advocacy community are more important than the quality of research from which they are derived, playing fast and loose with the facts is justifiable in the service of a noble cause, and data and sentiments that challenge conventional wisdom are to be condemned or ignored."
"Drug" courts are as unconstitutional as "family law" courts. There is no provision of this or these types of "courts" in the state constitution. One cannot have an office that is not delineated in the Constitution. The courts of the states are outlined in each state's constitution and the "making up" of fashionable sounding courts does not render them covered under the constitution and therefore their offices are void (not vacant), their officers hold positions that do not exist and therefore are invalid and any order placed against any citizen from one of these corrupt gregarian unconstitutional extortion systems utilizing "color of law" authority are not only without force, but actively war against the Constitution and are therefore domestic enemies... literally.
When you consider that "drug" courts are nothing more than "social justice" courts which our country and much of the world have gotten along without just fine for centuries, it beggars the mind to wonder why such counterfeit courts were put into existence. The short answer? MONEY!
It is not the place of the Government to render courts of chancery in order to further the guise of any sort of "social justice" but in fact render organized crime and extortion rings that the citizenry, still foolishly trusting in the oaths of elected officials, believes are there to... how would you put it? Apply the science? Under the guise of managing drug addicted citizens, the drug courts render further harm and injury to liberty than any net benefit to society.
While I agree with the DPA that the War on Drugs is a colossal failure and an expensive one that we can't afford, I wonder about thepolitical strategy of attacking the drug courts? If those in charge of the war on drugs really wanted to help prevent addictionto drugs,AND if makingthem illegal actually helped in this regard, we would have kept prohibition and would have made tobacco illegal.
Assomeone who hasworked in two SA Treatment programs, I can tell you that alcohol and tobacco are the two worst drugs. The war on drugs is ONLY about making profits for the private prison industry and arms manufacturers, and militarizing our police forces. Arguing with the drug profiteering industry is pointless.
We need to elect people who understand what is going on and will pass legislation to decriminalize drugs like marijuana, and allow farmers to grow hemp.It's all economics. As one ofmy friends often reminds me,Follow the Money.