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WASHINGTON, DC, July 20, 2015 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- The National Center for DWI Courts (NCDC) has partnered with the Foundation for Advancing Alcohol Responsibility (Responsibility.org) on an initiative that will dramatically increase the number of DWI Courts, and provide them with an innovative new tool for assessing participants. A DWI Court is an accountability court dedicated to changing the behavior of the hardcore DWI offenders through intensive supervision and treatment. Currently, there are 690 DWI Courts in the United States. Recent research has found that DWI Courts reduce both DWI and general criminal recidivism by average of more than 12 percent and by as much as 50-60 percent.
"Responsibility.org's leadership in supporting DWI Courts and better assessment tools for the field will result in more lives saved and safer roads from impaired drivers," said NCDC Senior Director Michael Kavanaugh. "We look forward to continuing our work with Responsibility.org to ensure the DWI Court field has the tools it needs to thrive, and we thank Responsibility.org for its ongoing support of NCDC and its extraordinary leadership on this issue."
NCDC and Responsibility.org are pleased to announce that the Computerized Assessment and Referral System (CARS) will be released in 2016. Developed within Harvard Medical School, with initial support by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism and ongoing funding from Responsibility.org, CARS is a standardized mental health assessment tool which assesses a full range of mental health disorders that likely contribute to addiction-related problems and other mental and physical issues. Traditionally, screening for mental health issues is not often performed on substance-using offender population. Once released, CARS will be made available for free for courts to identify mental health among DWI offenders and facilitate referral to appropriate treatment.
"CARS is a game changer, not just for DWI Courts but for the entire treatment court community," said Interim-CEO Carolyn Hardin. "When CARS is released NADCP will ensure this cutting-edge resource is available to all 2,900 Drug Courts, DWI Courts, Tribal Healing to Wellness Courts and Veterans Treatment Courts in the United States. In addition, CARS will be incorporated into all our organizational trainings as well as statewide trainings. We are thrilled to further our collaboration with Responsibility.org as we put CARS in reach of those in need."
Attendees of the upcoming NADCP 21st Annual Training Conference can get a sneak peak at CARS during a special session to be held on Tuesday, July 28 at 12:30 pm. The event is open to the media.
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