Tuesday, September 29, 2009
That's the headline on the press release from the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers introducing a new report, The reporter is Joel Schumm of Indiana University School of Law (Indianapolis) (pictured). According to the press release:
Major findings of the report include:
· Treating substance abuse as a public health issue rather than a criminal justice one
· Opening admission criteria to all those who need, want and request treatment
· Enforcing greater transparency in admission practices and relying on expert assessments, not merely the judgment of prosecutors
· Prohibiting the requirement of guilty pleas as the price of admission
· Urging greater involvement of the defense bar to create programs that preserve the rights of the accused
· Considering the ethical obligations of defense lawyers to their client even if they choose court-directed treatment.
· Opening a serious national discussion on decriminalizing low-level drug use.