Chief Justices Of 6 States Sign A Charter To Further The Work Of The Regional Judicial Opioid Initiative

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Six state court chief justices signed a charter in support of the Regional Opioid Initiative, which has developed an action plan with strategies to combat the growing opioid epidemic. The RJOI’s founding states include Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio, and Tennessee.  America’s opioid epidemic is a nationwide problem, but the impact in this region has been particularly significant, especially in towns and counties along state borders.

The initiative is the result of a Regional Judicial Opioid Summit held in August of 2016, which brought together multi-disciplinary representatives from across the multi-state region. RJOI is the first initiative of its kind where the collective leadership of state courts has come together to address the opioid epidemic at a regional level. The RJOI seeks to leverage local, state and federal partnerships and resources to explore solutions to an epidemic that is not confined by state borders.

While each state within the RJOI has established working groups to combat the opioid epidemic within their respective state, the RJOI focuses on problem-solving at a regional level. A cross- section of all three branches of state and local governments and partners in the private sector must tackle this problem head-on. RJOI stakeholders are comprised of chief justices, state court administrators, judges, executive branch leaders, legislators, behavioral health treatment providers, community supervision agencies, medical experts, prescription drug monitoring program (PDMP) managers, regulatory agencies, child welfare representatives, and others.
Partners from federal and national organizations, such as the Bureau of Justice Assistance, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, Casey Family Programs, and the National Center for State Courts, also support the initiative.

"America’s judicial system occupies a critical place in the quest for solutions to the opioid epidemic. It is also unquestioned that judges play an important role in their local communities to convene partners across the branches of government and the operations of government. There are significant issues that can be addressed by the regional approach to combating opioid use, including to reduce the number of opioids in circulation, track the overprescribing and abuse of the drugs, address regional information sharing issues, provide access to effective treatment for individuals and families in the criminal justice system, and ultimately reduce the number of deaths from opioid overdose and incidences of neonatal abstinence syndrome," officials said.

The RJOI Action Plan addresses the following areas:

•       PDMP access and regional reciprocity;
•       Overdose and reverse tracking;
•       Data sharing across multiple systems (e.g., PDMP, medical
        (including overdose and neonatal abstinence syndrome), criminal justice, child welfare, treatment and public health);
•       Implementation of evidence-based and best practices;
•       Advocacy and outreach;
•       Training and education;
•       Regional treatment standards of care and reciprocity;
•       Addiction workforce;
•       Recovery Oriented Systems of Care(ROSC); and
•       Regional treatment capacity.

"Through the Action Plan, RJOI will continue to work regionally to improve outcomes for those individuals and families that enter the criminal justice and child welfare systems because of an opioid use disorder. This includes considering what happens when they move across state lines and the interstate challenges that movement presents," officials said.



Senators Tell Administration To Abandon Plan To Sell Federal Transmission Lines

Senators Lamar Alexander and Maria Cantwell (D-Wa.) said the administration’s plan, announced on Thursday in a proposal to reorganize federal agencies, to sell the federal electric transmission assets of the Tennessee Valley Authority and the Power Marketing Administrations will increase electric bills for ratepayers.   “TVA’s continued success and ability to provide ... (click for more)

Chattanooga Chamber Calendar Of Events June 25-29

June 25, Beginner Squarespace 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. The Edney, Floor Five: 1100 Market St. This class is for anyone getting started with Squarespace. No previous experience required. Topics will include setting up the site, choosing a template and entering content. Register at thechattery.org . $25   June 26, East Brainerd Chamber Council Meeting ... (click for more)

Former City Education Commissioner John P. Franklin Dies

John Porter Franklin, long a leading figure in Chattanooga city government, has died.  He was the city's first, elected black official, post Jim Crow laws, in 1971. Mr. Franklin's father, G.W. Franklin, was a pioneer funeral home director and John Franklin continued in that line. He was first an official in Franklin-Strickland Funeral Home, then he started John P. Franklin ... (click for more)

All School Board Members But Rhonda Thurman Approve Going Ahead With Equity Study

All County School Board members except Rhonda Thurman said Thursday afternoon they are in favor of pushing ahead with an equity study sought by new Supt. Bryan Johnson. Ms. Thurman said she was "tired of bullying tactics by outside groups" such as UnifiEd and Chattanooga 2.0. She said the 132 people who signed a letter in support of the study include people "with deep pockets" ... (click for more)

The Boss, Claude Ramsey

I try not to overuse the word great, but we lost a great man today, Claude Ramsey. I had the pleasure of serving under him as director of Commercial and Industrial Properties for 14 years while he was the Hamilton County Assessor of Property. He was probably the smartest person I have ever known. He was tough but patient, kind, caring and compassionate. He knew how to get ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: So, You’re Invisible?

Several weeks ago I was in the middle of My Morning Readings when, somehow, I came across a wonderful story written by Nichole Johnson. Her website says she is a speaker, a motivator, and an author whose gift is to “capture the inner-most feelings of women facing life's daily struggles, and it has enabled her to create a unique sense of community for people of all ages.” That’s ... (click for more)