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The Neuroscience of Addiction and Implications for Judicial Decision Making

In 2004, CHJ worked with the National Association of Drug Court Professionals, the Legal Action Center, and National TASC to develop a training curriculum on the science of addiction. The training began as a pilot for judges in the Criminal Division of the Circuit Court of Cook County (IL). 

Since then, CHJ has delivered this curriculum across the country, and is continuing this work with national partners. The curriculum provides information on the effects of prolonged substance use, best practices in treatment protocols, decision-making strategies based on the latest science and best practices, and practical tools for system integration of this knowledge. 

Along with national partners, we we developed and delivered training on the effects of substance abuse on the brain, and how the science of addiction can be useful in sentencing and treatment practices.

Video: Science of Addiction 

Dr. Timothy Condon, former science advisor to the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy and past deputy director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse, discusses addiction as a disease of the brain and the challenge of managing it, similar to other chronic diseases such as diabetes and hypertension.