Criminal Justice

In September 2021, Georgetown University Law Center convened an Opioid Litigation Summit. This convening brought together numerous experts to discuss legal, administrative, and programmatic strategies needed to optimize the impact of proceeds from the opioid litigation. The themes described in this brief emerged from the Summit and can be applied to the opioid litigation as well as future mass tort litigation to address public health crises....

The Law Enforcement and Other First Responder Deflection (Act), drafted in collaboration with the Police, Treatment, and Community Collaborative (PTACC), encourages the use and establishment of deflection programs on the state level. Specifically, the model act (1) authorizes law enforcement and other first responders to develop and implement collaborative deflection programs that provide proactive policing to assist individuals who are at risk; (2) offers pathways to treatment, recovery services, housing, medication for addiction treatment, whole family services, and other needed supports; (3) requires deflection programs to have certain threshold elements to be eligible to receive grant funding; and (4) requires agencies establishing deflection programs to develop comprehensive memoranda of understanding in conjunction with, and agreed to by, all deflection program partners....

“Stigma” is defined as stereotypes or negative views attributed to a person or groups of people whose characteristics or behaviors are viewed as different from, or inferior to, societal norms. Surveys of public attitudes about various stigmatizing conditions indicate that individuals with a substance use disorder are viewed more negatively than individuals with a mental disorder. This report, released in collaboration with Rulo Strategies LLC, explores efforts to reduce stigma towards individuals with a substance use disorder in public safety and justice settings....

The Commission on Combating Synthetic Opioid Trafficking, established under Section 7221 of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2020, was charged with examining aspects of the synthetic opioid threat to the United States—specifically, with developing a consensus on a strategic approach to combating the illegal flow of synthetic opioids into the United States. This final report describes items involving the illegal manufacturing and trafficking of synthetic opioids, as well as the deficiencies in countering their production and distribution, and includes action items directed to appropriate executive branch agencies and congressional committees and leadership....

The 2022 AMA-Manatt Toolkit builds on a previously published roadmap by providing actionable resources that states can use to take specific actions in six policy areas: (1) Increase access to evidence-based treatments to help patients with a substance use disorder (SUD); (2) Ensure access to addiction medicine, psychiatry, and other trained physicians; (3) Enforce mental health and substance use disorder (SUD) parity laws; (4) Improve access to multidisciplinary, multimodal care for patients with pain; (5) Expand harm reduction efforts to reduce death and disease; and (6) Improve monitoring and evaluation....

The Bloomberg School of Public Health at Johns Hopkins University recently released a three-part report about the multi-district opioid litigation that has been making its way through the court system for many years. Part 1 of the trilogy, focuses on a series of principles governing the use of the settlement funds: (1) spending money to save lives; (2) using evidence to guide spending; (3) investing in youth prevention; (4) focusing on racial equity; and (5) developing a fair and transparent process for deciding where to spend the funding....

A newly released report from the United States Department of Justice indicates that among all state and federal prisoners, nearly four in 10 self-reported using drugs and three in 10 self-reported consuming alcohol, at the time of the offense for which they are currently serving a sentence in a correctional facility. Many of those individuals meet the clinical definition of having a substance or alcohol use disorder - 40% for substance use and just over 20% for alcohol. Of that population, 33% of state and 46% of federal prisoners, who met the criteria for having a substance or alcohol use disorder, reported participating in a treatment program after their admission to a correctional facility....

LAPPA’s Model Access to Medication for Addiction Treatment in Correctional Settings Act, written in collaboration with the O’Neill Institute for National and Global Health Law at the Georgetown University Law Center and a cadre of subject matter experts, sets forth a comprehensive, evidence-based framework for ensuring that all incarcerated individuals with a substance use disorder be provided access to FDA-approved medication for addiction treatment in state and local correctional settings....

The Department of Justice’s Bureau of Justice Statistics recently released statistical briefs on selected policies and procedures of local police departments and sheriffs’ offices, based on data from BJS’s 2016 Law Enforcement Management and Administrative Statistics survey. The tables show national estimates and distributions by population served on topics such as average hours of officer training by type of training, written community-policing plans, annual operating budgets, written directives for officer conduct, written documentation for officers’ display or discharge of firearms, authorized less-lethal techniques and restraints, and requirements for external investigations of deaths or use of force....