The Oregon Criminal Justice Commission's Justice Reinvestment Summit and Multnomah County's What Works in Public Safety Conference were held concurrently in Salem over two days in February 2017.
On February 17, 2017, the What Works conference explored drug law and drug policy. Topics included health and criminal justice responses to drug addiction, impacts on communities of color, and the collateral consequences of felony convictions.
Timothy P. Condon, Ph.D. , Center on Alcoholism, Substance Abuse and Addiction (CASAA), University of New Mexico
The opening session explored what we have learned about the neuroscience of addiction from cellular changes to neural circuits. These changes were discussed as some of the underlying factors responsible for substance use disorders (SUDs). The interaction of the biology, behavior and the environment was explored to understand what compels much of the behavior that is observed in people with substance use disorder. Dr. Condon reviewed what research has shown us about effective treatments for SUDs and how the blending of the public health and public safety systems can work together to address these problems. View
Khalil A. Cumberbatch, Manager of Trainings, JustLeadershipUSA
When law enforcement began trying to aggressively eradicate the drug epidemic, there was a lack of understanding about the long-term impact those actions would have on low-income and communities of color. With drug use in the 1980's and 1990's being almost equivalent in both white and black communities, almost all of the resources allocated to eliminating illegal drug trafficking were deployed to neglected and marginalized communities. This war on drugs caused mass incarceration and immeasurable levels of unaddressed generational trauma. This presentation briefly explored those impacts and how we as a country have failed to address them. Mr. Cumberbatch also shared his personal story of incarceration in the New York State prison system, his reentry, and his passionate advocacy for social justice.
Judge Frederick Block, US District Court Judge for the Eastern District of New York
The Honorable Frederic Block is a senior district court judge in the Eastern District of New York. Judge Block’s presentation, Rethinking Collateral Consequences, discussed the profusion of collateral consequences that follow felony convictions under both state and federal law. Under Oregon state law alone, there are well over a thousand statutory and regulatory collateral consequences, many of which challenge a convicted felon’s ability to construct a productive life post-incarceration. In his presentation, Judge Block explored the effect of collateral consequences on rehabilitation and recidivism, as well as the need for reform.