Addiction, Recovery and the Minnesota Justice System

Learn About Hazelden Betty Ford

Center City, Minnesota (Sept. 8, 2021)—The Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation is hosting a virtual event series during National Recovery Month aimed at expanding understanding of addiction, treatment and recovery within Minnesota's justice system.

Supported by presenting sponsor Mairs & Power and generous donors, the "Addiction, Recovery and the Minnesota Justice System" series kicks off with a lunch-and-learn on Friday, Sept. 10, from noon to 1:30 p.m. Subsequent sessions will be held at the same time on the following Fridays: Sept. 17, Sept. 24 and Oct. 1. Participants who register for the series can attend the live sessions or view recordings on-demand. The series has a pending application for standard continuing legal education (CLE) credits, offered at no-cost to participants.

"This public-private collaboration will provide a valuable learning experience for judges, prosecutors, defense attorneys, law enforcement officers and others who interact with people in the Minnesota justice system," said Minnesota Supreme Court Associate Justice Anne K. McKeig, who will provide opening remarks at the first session. "In our work, many of us encounter people who are affected by addiction, but we don't get many opportunities like this to come together and learn about the disease, what it's like for people to move through the stages of recovery, and the programs and services available to support recovery in our communities. Addiction affects all parts of our community, and this series offers a chance to talk about these issues and learn from each other."

Also speaking at the opening session will be Joseph Lee, MD, president and CEO of Hazelden Betty Ford—the nation's largest nonprofit provider of addiction treatment, co-occurring mental health care, recovery resources and related prevention and education services. Hazelden Betty Ford held a similar series in Oregon with partners there last November and plans to expand the offering to additional states where there is interest from collaborators.

Emily Piper, an attorney and former commissioner of the Minnesota Department of Human Services who now serves as Hazelden Betty Ford's executive director of government relations and contracting, said a big part of Hazelden Betty Ford's mission is advocacy, which involves regularly convening professionals and educating the public to destigmatize addiction and promote policies and practices that expand access to treatment and recovery.

"This learning series is an opportunity for professionals to share suggestions and ideas and to hear from people who have firsthand experience with addiction and our justice system about the help they received or needed to support their recoveries," Piper explained. "The more we collectively understand about the chronic disease of addiction and the multiple pathways to treatment and recovery, and the more we see what recovery makes possible and how it reveals people's potential, the more equipped we'll be to prioritize hope, help and healthcare when people who are sick become entangled in the justice system."

Presenters and facilitators over the four sessions will include:

  • Minnesota Supreme Court Associate Justice Anne K. McKeig
  • Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation President and CEO Joseph Lee, MD
  • Ramsey County Judge Nicole J. Starr
  • Stephen Delisi, MD, medical director for Hazelden Betty Ford's Professional Education Solutions team
  • Emily Brunner, MD, of Sage Prairie Addiction Medicine Clinic and Region VI director of American Society of Addiction Medicine Board of Directors
  • Washington County Attorney Pete Orput
  • Peter Hayden, PhD, president and CEO of Turning Point, Inc.
  • Wendy Jones, executive director of Minnesota Recovery Connection
  • Suzula Bidon, attorney and recovery advocate
  • John Magnuson, executive director of the Minnesota Association of Resources for Recovery and Chemical Health
  • Janet Ackland Carlson, founder of Sober Justice
  • Jeremiah Gardner, Hazelden Betty Ford's former director of communications and public affairs
  • And more to be confirmed.

About the Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation

The Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation is a force of healing and hope for individuals, families and communities affected by addiction to alcohol and other drugs. As the nation's leading nonprofit provider of comprehensive inpatient and outpatient addiction and mental health care for adults and youth, the Foundation has treatment centers and telehealth services nationwide as well as a network of collaborators throughout health care. Through charitable support and a commitment to innovation, the Foundation is able to continually enhance care, research, programs and services, and help more people. With a legacy that began in 1949 and includes the 1982 founding of the Betty Ford Center, the Foundation today is committed to diversity, equity and inclusion in its services and throughout the organization, which also encompasses a graduate school of addiction studies, a publishing division, an addiction research center, recovery advocacy and thought leadership, professional and medical education programs, school-based prevention resources and a specialized program for children who grow up in families with addiction.