This episode's guest is Tina Nadeau, Chief Justice of the New Hampshire Superior Court. She is The Nelson A. Rockefeller Center's Perkins Bass Distinguished Visitor.
Incarceration does not treat substance use disorder, it cultivates it. As NH and the nation face a crippling opioid epidemic, Chief Justice Tina Nadeau explains that if we want to increase public safety, reduce the cost of incarceration, and return offenders to the community as productive members, we need to invest in alternatives to incarceration. 70%-80% of those appearing in Superior Court with felony offenses suffer from substance use disorder or mental illness, and often times both. They have spent time in prison and jail without any improvement in their conditions and when released resort to the same behavior that resulted in their incarceration in the first place. One alternative – drug court – has proven effective in treating the underlying conditions that result in criminal behavior. The result? Graduates of drug court reoffend at a significantly lower rate than their incarcerated counterparts and have learned the skills it takes to manage a long-term, chronic relapsing condition, often for the first time in their lives.
Interview by Dartmouth student Blake McGill '22. Edited by Laura Hemlock. Music: Debussy Arabesque no 1. Composer: Claude Debussy