Tennessee Administrative Office of the Courts

Court Leaders Available To Discuss Judicial Branch Response To Opioid Epidemic

June 4, 2018

The nation’s opioid epidemic has impacted every courthouse in the country, and judges have diligently been working together to develop innovative solutions involving diversion programs, placement of children left in foster care, model plans for pregnant defendants, and more.  Led by Tennessee’s Administrative Office of the Courts Director Deborah Taylor Tate and Indiana Chief Justice Loretta Rush, the National Judicial Opioid Task Force (NJOTF) will bring court leaders from around the nation together for a two-day meeting as part of its continued efforts to find solutions about how the courts can most effectively help individuals, families, and communities affected by the opioid epidemic.

Task Force co-chairs Chief Justice a Rush and Director Tate will be available to speak to the media between 12:15 – 12:45 p.m. Tuesday, June 5 to discuss the opioid epidemic, its impact on the courts, and how courts are responding. Please contact the numbers below for call-in information.

“The opioid crisis is having an unprecedented impact on the judiciary and judges are very often in a key position to make crucial decisions that can impact families for generations,” Director Tate said. “Judges are the “second responders” in the crisis and can play a key role in determining whether individuals and communities recover.”

The Task Force was established in the fall of 2017 by the Conference of Chief Justices (CCJ) and the Conference of State Court Administrators (COSCA) as an effort to work with other state, local and federal agencies grappling with this issue. For more information, please contact Kathryn Dolan, Indiana Supreme Court chief public information officer at 317.234.4722, or Lorri Montgomery, director of communications for the National Center for State Courts at 757.262.8694.

The 29-member task force is made up of state court chief justices, state court administrators and other court leaders who have experience working with people with substance abuse issues. For more information on the task force, please go to www.ncsc.org/opioidsandcourts. Financial support for the task force comes from the State Justice Institute (SJI), with staffing support provided by the National Center for State Courts (NCSC).