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Zoeller: Problem-solving courts may help fight Rx abuse

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Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller said a newly formed prescription drug abuse task force will examine whether special problem-solving courts may be a venue for fighting prescription painkiller abuse.

Zoeller announced the initiative in a statement Friday, a day after he attended a graduation ceremony for defendants who successfully completed the Adult Drug Court program in Clark Superior Court 2 in Jeffersonville, where Judge Jerry Jacobi presides.

“In supporting greater resources for specialty courts, one of my goals will be to examine the effectiveness and possible expansion of drug courts, veteran courts and other problem-solving courts that recognize the underlying root causes of some crimes and help offenders to resolve them,” Zoeller said in a statement. “This approach gives certain types of offenders the opportunity and motivation to live productive, crime-free lives in the future.

“In addition to the problems with illegal drugs, prescription painkiller abuse is an epidemic according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention,” Zoeller said. “We must focus on treatment and alternatives to incarceration as a priority, and the possible expansion of drug courts could play an important role. I believe this is a worthwhile concept that the Legislature should have the opportunity to learn more about.”

On Sept. 24, Zoeller announced formation of a prescription drug abuse task force to examine the problem of abuse and diversion of addictive prescription medications. The group consists of 60 people representing law enforcement, public health, the legislative branch, social services and pharmacists.

The task force, which Zoeller chairs, will recommend changes to state laws and regulations in advance of the 2013 session of the Indiana General Assembly. Smaller committees within the task force will study specific issues. Zoeller said the task force will look at using specialty court supervision programs such as drug courts in the treatment of prescription drug abuse and addiction. If those are found effective, then the task force would offer recommendations on how such programs might be developed in counties where they don’t exist.

 

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  • RX DRugs
    Well, I see the state of Indiana has found yet a nother way to squander (WASTE) our tax dollars. Presciption drug task force, what a joke, no state or federal agency will ever win the war on drugs, legal or illegal. Every time you take a 1 dealer down, 10 more take his place. Governments think they can solve every problem by passing a law. There are so many laws on the books that even the people that wrote and/or enacted the laws, don't know what the laws are. In addition to that every member of congress, the senate and the supreme court has violated the law, it may have been speeding, not making a complete stop at a stop sign etc. The fact is if you write or enact laws, you are a hypocrite of you break any law, no matter how minor it is!

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  1. Frankly, it is tragic that you are even considering going to an expensive, unaccredited "law school." It is extremely difficult to get a job with a degree from a real school. If you are going to make the investment of time, money, and tears into law school, it should not be to a place that won't actually enable you to practice law when you graduate.

  2. As a lawyer who grew up in Fort Wayne (but went to a real law school), it is not that hard to find a mentor in the legal community without your school's assistance. One does not need to pay tens of thousands of dollars to go to an unaccredited legal diploma mill to get a mentor. Having a mentor means precisely nothing if you cannot get a job upon graduation, and considering that the legal job market is utterly terrible, these students from Indiana Tech are going to be adrift after graduation.

  3. 700,000 to 800,000 Americans are arrested for marijuana possession each year in the US. Do we need a new justice center if we decriminalize marijuana by having the City Council enact a $100 fine for marijuana possession and have the money go towards road repair?

  4. I am sorry to hear this.

  5. I tried a case in Judge Barker's court many years ago and I recall it vividly as a highlight of my career. I don't get in federal court very often but found myself back there again last Summer. We had both aged a bit but I must say she was just as I had remembered her. Authoritative, organized and yes, human ...with a good sense of humor. I also appreciated that even though we were dealing with difficult criminal cases, she treated my clients with dignity and understanding. My clients certainly respected her. Thanks for this nice article. Congratulations to Judge Barker for reaching another milestone in a remarkable career.

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