The office of U.S. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., announced Thursday he accepted the All Rise Leadership Award from the National Association of Drug Court Professionals. The award was given to several members of Congress Tuesday and is handed out to lawmakers who exhibit a commitment to combating drug related crime and addiction through appropriate court programs.
“The Kentucky Drug Court program plays an integral role in our criminal justice system by combining treatment with law enforcement and rigorous court supervision,” McConnell said in a news release. “We know that the incarceration of drug offenders alone does not necessarily break the cycle of drug-related criminal activity and we must be responsive to the needs of local communities to effectively address this ongoing problem. I will continue to support comprehensive efforts to combat illegal drug use and drug-related crime and look for ways to protect our communities from the horrors wrought by drug abuse, and applaud the dedication of Kentucky’s drug court judges, prosecutors, and supervision professionals.”
The group represents judges, prosecutors, defense attorneys and clinical professionals working to create what they call a “common sense approach to improving the justice system” by compelling drug abuse offenders to change their lives.
McConnell’s office notes he has been supportive of the Rural Drug Prosecution Assistance Project, which assists the criminal justice system in rural Kentucky in fighting drug-related crime and for over a decade has ensured that the Kentucky National Guard has access to resources for marijuana eradication operations in Appalachia.
Earlier this year, McConnell encouraged White House Office of National Drug Control Policy Director Gil Kerlikowske to visit Kentucky in order to get a close-up view of drug problems affecting the commonwealth, from its most urban to rural communities.