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For immediate release
Tuesday, Sept. 17, 2013


OU to host discussion on impacts, effectiveness of U.S. drug policy

     Rochester, Mich. – As growing debate over the effectiveness of the U.S. "war on drugs" continues to prompt calls for new legislative and enforcement approaches, the Criminal Justice Program at Oakland University will host an evening of community dialogue on the topic.

      From 5-9 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 26, students, scholars, and interested members of the public will gather with criminal justice, mental health and other social service agency representatives for an informative reception, a screening of the 2012 Sundance Grand Jury Award-winning documentary "The House I Live In," and a question-and-answer session with the film's director, Eugene Jarecki.

      "There has been a convergence of thought from both the right and the left that what we have been doing in the drug war for the last 40 years just isn't working," said Oakland University Assistant Professor of Criminal Justice Amanda Burgess-Proctor.

      "People are beginning to ask some really tough questions, and I hope that we'll look at some of those questions during this event."

      Burgess-Proctor adds that "The House I Live In" offers an insightful perspective on the drug war, including its relationship to poverty, racism, public policy and social justice. Along with the issue of how best to service a large population of paroled drug offenders returning to life in the community, these are among the very topics she examines with OU students in her popular Alcohol, Drugs and Society course.

      "The goal is really not to make this a lecture, but to engage the community in a discussion about a crucial public policy issue," she said.

      "I hope people walk away from this event with a fuller understanding of contemporary drug policy, and maybe even more questions than answers. The drug war really is important to all of us, because it has real-life consequences for individuals, families and communities."

      Set in Varner Recital Hall on the campus of Oakland University, the upcoming event is free and open to the public. Those interested in attending can find additional information, including links to RSVP, at oakland.edu/drugwarmovie.

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Media Relations
University Communications and Marketing
Oakland University, 100 Anibal House, 2200 North Squirrel Road, Rochester, MI 48309-4401
Oakland University is a doctoral, research-intensive university located in Oakland County, Michigan. The university has 139 bachelor's degree programs and 127 graduate degree and certificate programs. dedicated to delivering a distinctive undergraduate experience that is complemented by the strength of its graduate offerings and research accomplishments, Oakland University is organized into the College of Arts and Sciences, the Oakland University William Beaumont School of Medicine and the Schools of Business Administration, Education and Human Services, Engineering and Computer Science, Health Sciences, Nursing, and The Honors College. Visit Oakland University on the web at oakland.edu.