Hope for Healing: Responding to the impact of the criminal justice system and the opioid crisis in Appalachian communities and beyond

The Ohio Safe and Healthy Communities Campaign proposes a workshop including the following three topics:

1) Framing and data about how the criminal justice system and the opioid epidemic have directly impacted both rural and urban Appalachian communities: This will include a break-out session with conversation about the criminal justice system generally and what the interactions are like for urban Appalachian people, including the overall “war on drugs” and the opioid crisis specifically. Questions to explore may include what participants have seen in their communities related to drug crimes and the criminal justice system, what people think of when they hear “war on drugs”, and whether they’ve seen anything successful, or at least that gives them hope, in healing people from addiction.

2) Explore the current pending ballot initiative campaign in Ohio as a model for how to make systems change that will address the impacts of the justice system, reinvest resources in local communities, and tell a different story about how to make our communities safe: This will include an overview of the initiative itself and some history about how it has become positioned for success.

3) Provide opportunities for action: This will include actual resources for folks to get involve and training for signature collection if people are motivated to engage their networks.