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NADCP Conference Kicks-Off with Star-Studded Opening Ceremony

For many, a highlight of the annual NADCP Drug Court Training Conference is the Opening Ceremony and this year did not disappoint. The Opening Ceremony began with music from the Brass Quintet of the President’s Own, U.S. Marine Band and a presentation of the colors by the Joint Armed Forces Color Guard.


Following a welcome by NADCP CEO West Huddleston, attendees were treated to stirring remarks by R&B sensation KEM, who told his story of triumph from the streets of Detroit to the top of the charts.






Denise O’Donnell, the new Director of the Bureau of Justice Assistance, took the stage to show her support for Drug Courts, and Mexican National Commissioner Against Addictions, Dr. Carlos Tena Tamayo, addressed the crowd on efforts to bring Drug Courts to Mexico.




A highlight of the Opening Ceremony was a groundbreaking panel discussion examining the widespread political and social appeal of Drug Courts. Former Congressman Jim Ramstad moderated an engaging and entertaining panel featuring former Member of Congress and Drug Enforcement Administration Director Asa Hutchinson, world-renowned actor Martin Sheen, acclaimed actor Harry Lennix, Chief Justice of Alabama Sue Bell Cobb, comedian Alonzo Bodden, retired U.S. Air Force Master Sergeant Buddy Gilmore, and Judge (ret.) Karen Freeman-Wilson, former NADCP CEO and Indiana Attorney General.


From Left to Right: Jim Ramstad, Asa Hutchinson, Martin Sheen, Harry Lennix, Chief Justice Sue Bell Cobb, Alonzo Boden, Buddy Gilmore, and Judge (ret.) Karen Freeman-Wilson


Before the audience was through giving the panel a standing ovation, the first graduate in the parade of transformation took the stage. One by one, grateful Drug Court graduates and their families dignified attendees with their inspiring stories of overcoming addiction in Drug Court. The ceremony concluded with thunderous applause as West Huddleston joined the parade of transformation on stage and thanked the audience for making such transformation possible every day in Drug Court.

Check out pictures from the Opening Ceremony and click on any picture to access the full albums and our FlickR page.


Opening Ceremony Slideshow