Oct 13, 2009

Courting Drug-Policy Reform

By Dina Fine Maron - Newsweek Web Exclusive

Before January, Judge Wendell P. Gardner Jr. had never been hugged by a defendant. But he had to get into a different mindset when he took over as the District of Columbia's adult-drug-court judge at the beginning of the year. Now, each month when nonviolent drug offenders "graduate" from the five to 18 months of judge-supervised treatment, he steps off the bench and interacts with the users he helps keep out of jail. For the George H.W. Bush appointee, drug courts are not about politics, they are about treatment and results. "You get a sense you're really helping someone," he says.

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