Matthew Perry, Chris Herren Highlight Moving Closing Ceremony
After four fun-filled days networking, learning and enjoying the best of what Nashville has to offer, attendees once again packed the ballroom for the closing ceremony.
Watch Highlights of the Closing Ceremony
Minnesota Judge Joanne Smith was inducted into the Stanley Goldstein Drug Court Hall of Fame, NADCP’s highest honor. Judge Smith started the first Juvenile Drug court in Minnesota in 2001 and four years later started a stand-alone Psychiatric Court Clinic, attached to her courtroom. In 2010 the program was awarded one of ten Adult Mentor Courts by the Bureau of Justice Assistance through the National Drug Court Institute.
Judge Kent Lawrence received the DWI Court award for his service in Atlanta, GA and around the nation. Judge Lawrence called his work in DWI Court “the most exciting, challenging and rewarding work I have done in my lifetime.”
Judge Joanne Smith (left) received the Stanley Goldstein award from Judge Robert Rancourt. Judge Lawrence (right) accepts the DWI Court Leadership Award.
The final awards of the day were given in recognition of outstanding media coverage and were presented to Moni Basu, CNN; Bill Rankin, Atlanta Journal-Constitution; and Kathleen Hale, author of How Information Matters: Networks and Policy Change.
In a moving tribute to both those serving in and served by Drug Court, the faces of men and woman who have graduated the program appeared on screen as the Springsteen classic, the Land of Hope and Dreams played. Attendees were brought first to tears, then to their feet as the video ended with a standing ovation.
But these were not the last graduate images of the day. Accompanied by her son, Jill, a DWI Court graduate, told of overcoming generational substance abuse. “What is most important to me is that I have broken the chain of addiction in my family for my kids,” she said.
DWI Court graduate Jill and her son share a moment on stage.
Keeping with the DWI Court theme, Dr. Mark Rosekind, the 40th Member of the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), and Ben Tucker, Deputy Director of State, Local and Tribal Affairs for the Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) spoke about the important role of Drug Courts and DWI Courts in providing an evidenced-based solution to drunk and drugged driving.
Dr. Mark Rosekind (left) discusses the important role of DWI Courts in stopping drunk driving. Ben Tucker (right) discusses the Administration's support for Drug Courts and DWI Courts as critical for providing a comprehensive approach to reducing drugged driving.
All Rise Ambassador Matthew Perry was on hand for his fourth straight NADCP conference and once again brought the house down with hilarious, thoughtful and heartfelt remarks. Perry spoke about his first exposure to Drug Court and how it changed his life and helped him recommit to service. “Helping to shine a bright light on Drug Courts here, on Capitol Hill and around the country is an amazing and rewarding opportunity,” he said. Perry is the star of the new NBC smash comedy Go On. “I hope it is successful so more people will listen to me when I talk about Drug Courts,” he said.
Perry then introduced the first Keynote speaker. Chris Herren was a basketball phenom who lived his dream of playing in the NBA before succumbing to addiction and losing everything. Herren told the crowd his incredible story of finding redemption through recovery and thanked attendees for their dedication to those in desperate need of help. “Almost a year ago to the day I would be released from jail,” he said. “Where I have gotten in my life because of treatment rather than a jail cell is extremely moving and telling. And when I see this conference and listen to the stories I am honored to be here.”
Former NBA star and author Chris Herren
Mark Lundholm is a comedian who got his start performing in jails and treatment centers and his hilarious routine brought the house down. After keeping attendees in fits for forty minutes, he concluded with a heartfelt message: "Everyday you go to work you might meet the person you allow to save themselves. Every single time you might meet the one who gets to come back and tell Chris’ story, Matthew’s story, be the story. That is what we are doing here. That’s why we come. Thank you.”
Comedian Mark Lundholm
West Huddleston and Mark Lundholm officially close the NADCP 18th Annual Training Conference
Closing Ceremony Slideshow