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Chief Justice Rush Addresses Drug Reform In Annual State Of The Judiciary Address

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During her annual State of the Judiciary Address Wednesday, Indiana Chief Justice Loretta Rush said in the year of the state’s Bicentennial, the court system will seek to be, in her words, more nimble, affordable, accessible and user-friendly.

Indiana’s mounting drug crisis has captured the attention of the governor and lawmakers over the last year. Rush says it’s no different for Indiana’s trial court judges. She cites a Fayette County judge who says his county of just 23,000, saw 30 heroin overdoses in 30 days. And Rush says the state’s drug courts will play a vital role.

“We cannot afford to incarcerate or institutionalize our way out of this drug crisis,” Rush says. “Our approach must include helping sons and daughters, husbands and wives return to a life after addiction.”

Rush says that broader approach will work in concert with the state’s recent criminal code reform, which the court system continues to implement.

“The funding you’ve provided is already making a difference. 43 counties have added 84 new community corrections and probation officers,” she says.

In her address, Rush also honored Justice Brent Dickson, who will retire in April as the second-longest serving justice in state history.  

Brandon Smith is excited to be working for public radio in Indiana. He has previously worked in public radio as a reporter and anchor in mid-Missouri for KBIA Radio out of Columbia. Prior to that, he worked for WSPY Radio in Plano, Illinois as a show host, reporter, producer and anchor. His first job in radio was in another state capitol, in Jefferson City, Missouri, as a reporter for three radio stations around Missouri. Brandon graduated from the University of Missouri-Columbia with a Bachelor of Journalism in 2010, with minors in political science and history. He was born and raised in Chicago.
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