Advancing Justice launched this summer before an audience of 5,000 justice and treatment professionals during the opening ceremony of the National Association of Drug Court Professionals Annual Training Conference.
Academy Award-winning Actress Octavia Spencer delivered an electrifying speech in which she called for the end to the injustice that has plagued the justice system, and congratulated treatment court professionals with helping to bring about much needed change.
“There’s a better way to talk about addiction, because it is a disease and not a moral failing. A better way to keep families together, by treating the real issue at the heart of their strife. A better way to serve our veterans, who’ve sacrificed more than most of us will ever understand,” she said. “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.”
“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.” - Octavia Spencer
Ms. Spencer then made an announcement of her own, bringing out former Justice For Vets Director Melissa Fitzgerald who will serve as the Director of Justice For Vets. “While she will never stop working on behalf of our veterans, as the director of NADCP’s new Advancing Justice initiative, thousands more will benefit from her desire to see justice for the most vulnerable members of our communities,” she said.
As director of Justice For Vets, Fitzgerald will continue her work supporting NADCP and its divisions Justice For Vets, The National Center for DWI Courts and the National Drug Court Institute while tackling broader issues withing the justice reform movement.
"Advancing Justice, in partnership with all of you, will tackle the greatest issues facing our justice system today," she told the crowd. "We will not only expand treatment courts but implement other evidence-based solutions to reach every vulnerable person in need."