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Drug Task Force Lays Out Strategic Plan To Combat Opioid Epidemic

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WFYI Indianapolis on 05/18/2017 by Lindsey Wright

Indiana’s Commission to Combat Drug Abuse Thursday laid out a strategic plan to combat the state’s opioid epidemic.

Saving lives and expanding access to treatment are two of the highest priorities within the plan.

Jim McClelland, the executive director for drug treatment, prevention, and enforcement, says it’s all hands on deck in this fight.

“Substantially reducing the opioid crisis must be a team effort,” McClelland says. “Our efforts need to be aligned and our approaches need to be complimentary.”

Indiana received $10.9 million in funding through the 21st Century Cures Act. Kevin Moore, the director of mental health and addiction says the grants will go toward efforts such as prescription monitoring, anti-stigma campaigns, and peer support initiatives.

Rucker retires after 26 years on appellate bench

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The Indiana Lawyer on 05/17/2017 by Olivia Covington

Ask a member of the Indiana judiciary to describe former Indiana Supreme Court Justice Robert Rucker, and you’ll get answers such as “empathetic” or “compassionate.” And those who sat on either side of Rucker during his nearly 18 years on the state’s highest bench say the now-retired justice never let his sense of humanity outweigh the rule of law.

In fact, fellow former Justice Frank Sullivan Jr. said one of the qualities he most admired in Rucker was his ability to follow where the law took him, regardless of his personal feelings toward a case. But now, after a quarter-century career of striving to place justice above ideology, the longtime jurist has left the stat Supreme Court.

Rucker retired from the court May 12, after serving as one of the five final arbiters in Indiana’s legal system since 1999. His appellate career, which began with a seat on the Indiana Court of Appeals in 1991, included work with 23 Court of Appeals judges and eight justices, as well as authorship of roughly 1,250 majority opinions.

Addiction doc says: It’s not the drugs. It’s the ACEs – adverse childhood experiences

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ACES Too High on 5/2/2017 by Jane Ellen Stevens

He says: Addiction shouldn’t be called “addiction”. It should be called “ritualized compulsive comfort-seeking”.

He says: Ritualized compulsive comfort-seeking (what traditionalists call addiction) is a normal response to the adversity experienced in childhood, just like bleeding is a normal response to being stabbed.

He says: The solution to changing the illegal or unhealthy ritualized compulsive comfort-seeking behavior of opioid addiction is to address a person’s adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) individually and in group therapy; treat people with respect; provide medication assistance in the form of buprenorphine, an opioid used to treat opioid addiction; and help them find a ritualized compulsive comfort-seeking behavior that won’t kill them or put them in jail.

This “he” isn’t some hippy-dippy new age dreamer. He is Dr. Daniel Sumrok, director of the Center for Addiction Sciences at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center’s College of Medicine. The center is the first to receive the Center of Excellence designation from the Addiction Medicine Foundation, a national organization that accredits physician training in addiction medicine. Sumrok is also one of the first 106 physicians in the U.S. to become board-certified in addiction medicine by the American Board of Medical Specialties.

Carroll corrections program will move into a larger space

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Herald Journal on 5/15/2017 by Kathleen Merrill

The Carroll County Community Corrections program will be moving out of a broom closet and into the lounge on the first floor of the county courthouse at the beginning of June.

Although the county Board of Commissioners voted May 15 to allow the move right away, Community Corrections Executive Director Keyna Everett said later that others are booked to use the lounge for various things through the end of the month, so the move wouldn’t happen until then.

The commissioners hired SRKM Architecture, of Warsaw, at a cost of $8,250, last month to evaluate the courthouse and map out how to use any remaining empty space, which includes a large space formerly occupied by the Carroll County Museum.

But none of the commissioners knew anything about the status of that study, and they voted to address Everett’s concerns, which included confidentiality of clients, and the comfort, safety and working conditions of herself and Case Manager Samantha Letsinger.


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The Journal Gazette on 05/12/2017 by Jessie Cook

The dual goals of our criminal justice system are to maximize public safety and to ensure the fair and impartial administration of justice.

The system operates with five components – law enforcement, prosecutors, defense attorneys, the judiciary and corrections. Each plays a key role in the process.

Law enforcement agencies investigate allegations of acts determined to be illegal by Congress or state legislatures.

Investigations begin when an agency or officer suspects that a crime has been committed or when the agency receives a citizen’s complaint or a report from a crime victim.

After receiving investigative reports, prosecuting attorneys determine whether criminal charges should be filed. Proposed charges may be submitted to a grand jury or to a judge who then determines whether there is sufficient probable cause to proceed with prosecution.

Prosecutors are not simply responsible for obtaining convictions. Their job is to obtain justice for the accused, the community and the victim.

A person accused of a crime is arrested or summoned to appear in court. He has the right to be considered for release before trial. He should be released pre-trial unless the state convinces a judge that he is a flight risk or a danger to the community. A person should not be held in jail simply because he lacks the money to post bail.

Everyone accused of a crime has the right to be represented by an attorney and, if the accused is facing a jail or prison sentence and is without funds, he has the right to a court-appointed attorney. It is the job of the defense attorney to ensure that the defendant’s constitutional rights are protected and to represent him zealously within the bounds of the law.

Juvenile Probation Officers Sworn In

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Nexstar Media Group on 05/11/2017 by WANE Staff Reporters

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) Six new Allen County juvenile probation officers were sworn in Thursday.

Abigail Fuller, Robin Beasley, Dontaey Paige, Michael Starks, Gregory Coleman and Dallas Colley were sworn in in a ceremony at the Allen County Juvenile Center along Wells Street.

The new probation officers were sworn in by Allen County Judge Daniel Heath. Magistrates Michael Douglass and Daniel Pappas also helped with the ceremony.

Heath called juvenile probation officers an integral part of local law enforcement and juvenile justice. He said the position can be a difficult one because it requires the handling of not just children, but also parents and other environmental issues