April 2019
Spring is a Time for Renewal and for Second Chances
National Second Chance Month
In her monthly blog, JPO director Kim Ball shares her thoughts about the importance of bringing attention to second chances and the need to ensure that those impacted by the criminal justice system gain opportunities to restore their rights. She reminds us how treatment courts serve as a second chance at life for individuals with mental health and substance use disorders.
New Animated Video Explains the Value of Treatment Courts

In the last year, the United States has had an unprecedented number of fatal overdoses. The Drug Court Explained is an engaging animated video made to demystify drug courts and to show the public and the treatment court community that drug courts are part of the solution to the unprecedented public health crisis of drug addiction.

We urgently need to interrupt the cycle of drug use, arrests, incarceration, and overdose. Drug courts are an innovative and effective solution to addressing substance use within the criminal court system. Instead of simply sending people to jail, drug courts promote long-term sobriety by providing vital case management services and the opportunity to enter substance treatment.

Inaugural Drug Court Review Journal Released

The Drug Court Review is a peer-reviewed journal established to promote research on issues relevant to the treatment court field and to foster a wider understanding of the programs and participants, identifying challenges faced and successes achieved.

The winter issue focuses on developing a deeper understanding of veterans treatment courts (VTCs), offering research articles, a practitioner note, and a legal commentary designed to increase knowledge about VTCs and call attention to areas in need of inquiry or further consideration. Read more .

The Drug Court Review invites manuscript submissions for the Winter 2019 issue focusing on tribal healing to wellness court programs and rural treatment court programs. Read more .
Justice in Government Project Launches Online Civil Legal Aid Toolkit to Aid Governments
Those exiting the justice system and reclaiming their lives require legal support. Receiving legal services can help stabilize housing and reduce barriers to employment for almost 75 million , or one-in-three, American adults. Civil legal aid is free legal assistance to those who cannot afford it.

The Justice in Government Project team developed an online toolkit that provides research on how legal aid can help states further their policy and programmatic goals, information about funding legal aid, and examples of successful partnerships and programs.

Legal aid programs and organizations can assist with the civil consequences of having a criminal record such as having to disclose prior convictions on job applications, secure an occupational license, or losing drivers’ license. Learn more .
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Visit the JPO blog to read weekly posts from our staff on issues ranging from right to counsel and juvenile justice to treatment courts.