This week in the news: Read the president’s remarks from the 2019 Prison Reform Summit, how the Right to Counsel program is affecting New York City tenants, and more.
This story shares president Trump’s celebratory remarks from the 2019 Prison Reform Summit where he talked about the current successes of the First Step Act. This act, “will give countless current and former prisoners a second chance at life and a new opportunity to contribute to their communities, their states, and their nations.” Furthermore, he said “more than 16,000 inmates have already enrolled in drug treatment programs.” (WhiteHouse.gov, Washington, DC, April 1, 2019)
On April 16, the Carver County Attorney’s Office will submit an application for $500,000 to have a drug treatment court created in the county. According to federal statistics, over 72,000 Americans died from drug overdoses in 2017, up from 64,000 deaths in 2016. The majority of overdose deaths in 2016 and 2017 were attributed to opioids. In 2018, eight drug overdose deaths occurred in Carver County, up from two in 2017. (Zuege, SW News Media, April 4, 2019)
On March 26, the state of Oklahoma agreed to drop its suit against Purdue Pharma, “in exchange for a National Center for Addiction Studies and Treatment at OSU’s medical complex in Tulsa.” Purdue, the pharmaceutical company that manufactures OxyContin, faces 1,700 other suits. (Mervis, Science Magazine, April 4, 2019)
The “More Powerful North Carolina” campaign is to be implemented by state officials as an awareness campaign to inform the public about the dangers of opioids and where to get help. The campaign will include television and radios ads, as well as a website that, “aggregates resources for those addicted and those living with friends and family who are suffering.” (Olgin, WFAE, North Carolina, April 4, 2019)
The Washington Supreme Court ordered a new sentencing hearing for Jeremiah Gilbert who was 15-years-old when he attempted to steal a car and fatally shot the owner of the car and others who arrived on the scene. The decision is based on the 2012 U.S. Supreme Court decision that states that “mandatory life sentences for juveniles violated their constitutional rights.” (McHill, AP, Seattle, Washington, DC, April 4, 2019)
This NPR story interviews Bronx residence, Jacqueline Davis, who, after attending a Bronx housing court to stop her landlord from evicting her, found herself among 80,000 other eviction proceedings filed last year. In 2017, New York passed the Right to Counsel program that aims to address legal disparity between the city’s tenants and landlords. The results: New York City evictions have declined “more than five times faster in ZIP codes where the right to counsel law was in effect than in ZIP codes where the law was not.” (McKim, npr.org, April 3, 2019)