HEALTH & JUSTICE IN THE NEWS
Date: April 20, 2017
 
 
Around the Nation  

Homeland Security Chief Vows Marijuana Enforcement
The Crime Report, 4/19/17
Two days after downplaying the role of marijuana in drug enforcement, Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly changed course, saying his agency would continue to arrest and investigate those who traded in it in violation of federal law, McClatchy Newspapers reports.
Related: "Does this speech predict a tougher line on legal marijuana?" (McClatchy, 4/18/17): http://www.mcclatchydc.com/news/politics-government/white-house/article145262514.html
 
Matching People With Criminal Records With Hard-To-Fill Health Care Jobs (Illinois mentioned)
The Pew Charitable Trusts, 4/19/17
With unemployment falling and workers hard to find, a growing number of health care employers are following Johns Hopkins' lead and giving people with criminal records a second chance - hiring them mainly into entry-level jobs in food service, janitorial services and housekeeping. Studies show that employees with records stay in their jobs longer and are no more likely to commit workplace crimes than hires without them. Citing public safety concerns have passed laws to keep people with criminal records out of clinical health care jobs. As the health care sector continues to add jobs, state lawmakers and health care employers will have to decide whether people with criminal records will be allowed to fill them.
 
How Do People in Recovery From Opioid Addiction Safely Get Pain Relief After Surgery?
NPR | WGBH, 4/20/17
Nearly 1.5 million Americans were treated for addiction to prescription opioids or heroin in 2015, according to federal estimates, and when those people get seriously hurt or need surgery, it's often not clear, even to many doctors, how to safely manage their pain.
 
 
Around Illinois  

Illinois lawmakers ponder proposal to legalize marijuana
Chicago Tribune, 4/20/17
As proposed, the law would allow possession of up to one ounce of pot by people 21 and over. Driving under the influence would remain illegal, and smoking in public would be prohibited.
 
Jehan Gordon-Booth says expungement can offer a second chance
Peoria Journal Star, 4/17/17
State Rep. Jehan Gordon-Booth wants to level the playing field for people who have made a mistake in the past and gotten into the criminal justice system. This is not just for humanitarian reasons, she said, adding there's a practical side to her upcoming expungement summit on April 29. "Most people believe that adults should be able to be gainfully employed and take care of their family," the Peoria Democrat said. "The alternative is not allowing able-minded and bodied people to take care of their family. And then they are going to be relying on governmental assistance." The summit will be from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Life Together Center at 3601 N. Sheridan Road. About 400 people are expected, and those who need legal help can meet with dozens of attorneys and others who can guide them through the process. Gordon-Booth said representatives from employers and educational and vocational agencies also will be there.
 
West Side Heroin Task Force Hosts Town Hall Meeting on 'Ongoing Opioid Crisis'
NBC Chicago, 4/18/17
The West Side Heroin Task Force held a town hall meeting Tuesday at Malcolm X College in Chicago's Near West Side neighborhood to discuss the ongoing "opioid crisis." Elected officials, state agencies and local organizations discussed drug use, prevention, response, treatment and recovery, according to a news release from the task force.
 
Officials Compare Heroin Epidemic To Ebola Outbreak
CBS Chicago, 4/19/17
Local officials would like people to start being as concerned about the heroin epidemic as they were when the Ebola virus erupted as a worldwide health concern. Experts from Cook, Lake, DuPage and Will counties will come together later this week to share strategies for combatting the heroin and opioid overdose epidemic in the Chicago area. A heroin summit will be held on Friday at the Edward Hospital Athletic and Event Center in Romeoville. The event is free and open to the public.
 
Macoupin County drug take-back event to combat opioid
The State-Journal Register, 4/19/17
To combat Macoupin County's growing opioid problem, a state lawmaker joined law enforcement Wednesday in announcing an initiative to bring greater awareness to the issue. Sen. Andy Manar, D-Bunker Hill, and local officials said a drug take-back event on April 29 will allow residents to drop off unwanted medication to help prevent more drugs from ending up on the street.
 
 
Research, Reports, and Studies  

Reducing Substance Use Disorders and Related Offending: A Continuum of Evidence-Informed Practices in the Criminal Justice System
ICJIA, 4/7/17
Over the past several decades, research and rigorous evaluation has provided insight on effective practices for individuals with substance use disorders (SUDs) and other substance use issues and the importance of treatment over criminal justice system involvement. By integrating evidence-informed practices, criminal justice agencies and communities can save lives, decrease costs to the criminal justice system, healthcare systems, and taxpayers. Illinois Criminal Justice Information Authority (ICJIA) researchers developed this continuum to share evidence-informed practices for addressing SUDs and substance misuse to guide local-level assessment, planning, and implementation efforts around SUD prevention and intervention. These practices range from early prevention to services to support successful reintegration back into the community following time spent in jail or prison.
 
 
Health & Justice in the News  is a summary of recent news stories relating to criminal justice, mental health, addiction, recovery, and related issues. It is compiled and published by TASC each Monday and Thursday.
 
Some headlines and text have been altered by TASC for clarity or emphasis, or to minimize discriminatory or stigmatizing language. Opinions in the articles and op-eds do not necessarily express the views of TASC or our staff or partners.
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