Melissa Fitzgerald Named Director of NADCP's Advancing Justice Initiative
Nearly 1.5 million people with significant substance use and mental health histories -- over half the United States prison population - are currently locked behind bars. Our most vulnerable are more likely to be incarcerated than treated, overcrowding prisons and exacerbating disparities and inequalities.
Solutions are within reach. Never before has there been more evidence validating community-based alternatives to incarceration, more effective treatments for substance use and/or mental health disorders and more social and political will for reform.
Advancing Justice will fill the gaps created between what is known to work and what is done about it.
"An initiative with goals as important as these requires a leader with unmatched passion for justice reform. Therefore, I am proud to announce that Melissa Fitzgerald will serve as the director of the Advancing Justice initiative," said NADCP CEO Carson Fox. "For three years, Melissa led NADCP's Justice For Vets with enormous success, becoming a powerful voice in the movement to better connect justice-involved veterans to the treatment and resources they have earned. As the director of Advancing Justice, she will bring this same tenacity and resolve to address the most pressing justice reform issues."
L: Melissa Fitzgerald delivers remarks about veterans treatment court during an event at the National Press Club in Washington, DC | C: Melissa attends a veterans treatment court graduation in Honolulu, Hawaii | R: Melissa and Octavia Spencer backstage before the launch of Advancing Justice in National Harbor, Maryland
"I am excited to expand my role at NADCP and lead Advancing Justice. This initiative will help ensure equitable treatment for our most vulnerable citizens so that every person has access to evidence-based solutions for substance use and mental health disorders. I look forward to expanding NADCP's reach to serve more people in need." -Melissa Fitzgerald
Advancing Justice was announced in July during the 2017 NADCP Annual Training Conference. On hand to welcome Melissa to her new role was Academy Award-winning actress Octavia Spencer, who delivered an electrifying speech before our audience of more than 5,000 justice and treatment professionals.
"You are the ones who are leading our nation by example in this better way. That's why I could not be more excited that this field, led by NADCP, will be tackling these life-or-death issues on a larger scale through the Advancing Justice initiative," Spencer said. "I can think of no one better to lead this effort than my friend Melissa Fitzgerald."
Stay tuned for more exciting news from Advancing Justice!
Visit us online at AdvanceJustice.org.