Self-Study Courses for Criminal Justice Practitioners

Free, online courses offering strategies and solutions to stop cycles of drug use and crime

In the face of a national opioid crises, and recognizing that most people entering the justice system have recently used illicit drugs and/or have a substance use disorder, the Center for Health and Justice (CHJ) at TASC and the National Judicial College (NJC) have co-developed three self-study courses to support justice leaders in implementing evidence-based responses to help stop cycles of drug use and crime.

These free, online courses provide timely information and practical solutions offered by top national researchers in addiction and criminal justice. They were created as a result of CHJ’s and NJC’s collaborative work in leading the Justice Leaders Systems Change Initiative (JLSCI), which supports jurisdictions across the country in leveraging local resources and partnerships to create and implement collaborative responses to substance use and addiction.

Free and available with registration through the NJC website, the courses include:

  • The Neuroscience of Addiction. This course offers an introduction to the opiate epidemic, why individuals use drugs, and the long-term effects of addictive drugs on the brain. Designed for judges, probation staff, and other justice system stakeholders, it takes approximately two hours to complete, and is presented Timothy P. Condon, PhD, a preeminent expert in the neuroscience of addiction.
  • Evidence-Based Sentencing for Drug Offenders. Designed for judges, this course discusses sentencing and supervision of people with substance use disorders, including matching treatment and supervision to individuals’ clinical needs and risks of reoffending. Taking approximately two to four hours to complete, it is presented by Roger Peters, PhD, professor in the Department of Mental Health Law and Policy at the University of South Florida.  
  • Medication-Assisted Treatment. This course discusses the opiate epidemic; the impact of addiction on the brain; relapse, overdose, and mortality rates; and how medication-assisted treatment can be used to treat substance abuse disorders. Designed for criminal justice leaders and practitioners, it takes approximately two to four hours to complete, and is presented by Dr. Joshua D. Lee, director of the NYU ABAM Fellowship in Addiction Medicine.

Created by the Center for Health and Justice at TASC and the National Judicial College, the Justice Leaders Systems Change Initiative (JLSCI) helps local jurisdictions create and implement practical, collaborative responses to substance abuse and addiction among offenders and is funded by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s Center for Substance Abuse Treatment (SAMHSA/CSAT), the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), the Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA).

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