Martin Sheen: Drug Courts Are ‘the Very Best Deal’ Congress Can Make to Reduce Crime And Drug Addiction

( – When advocating for continued federal funding of drug courts, Emmy award-winning actor Martin Sheen said on Capitol Hill that drug courts are the “very best deal” Congress can make to reduce crime and drug addiction.

“We’re all here today with one purpose and that is to help ensure that Congress holds the line on the 88 million dollars that they are currently investing in drug court. To that end, we met with members of both Houses – of both the House and Senate yesterday – Democrat and Republican alike. I was amazed and heartened to see the unwavering bipartisan support drug courts have achieved,” said Sheen during a panel discussion on Capitol Hill sponsored by the National Association of Drug Court Professionals (NADCP) in conjunction with the House Addiction, Treatment and Recovery Caucus.

Sheen added that the members of the Caucus, specifically Reps. John Sullivan (R-Ok.), Tim Ryan (D-Ohio) and Mary Mack (R-Calif.) understand the “bargain” that drug courts are for taxpayers.

“Naturally, I’m grateful for their concern and compassion for all those in the grip of drug and alcohol abuse but I’m equally grateful for their wise stewardship as well for they clearly understand the extraordinary bargain drug courts are for taxpayers saving up to twenty-seven dollars for every one dollar invested,” said Sheen.

“Obviously, drug court is the very best deal Congress can make to reduce crime and the social consequences related to drug addiction and I’m extremely confident that they will all rise to the occasion and return the appropriation necessary to continue to the drug court dream.”

During his remarks, Sheen did not mention his son, actor Charlie Sheen who has fought a public battle with drug and alcohol addiction.

Martin Sheen

Sheen on Capitol Hill Thursday. (Ann Heisenfelt/AP)

According to the White House Drug Policy web site, President Obama’s FY2011 budget requested $86.2 million for new and expanded drug treatment and prevention programs which included “continuation funding for adult, treatment drug courts, juvenile treatment drug courts, and will support continuation of all the new treatment drug courts jointly funded with DOJ elements in FY 2010.”

Following the panel discussion, Sheen did not take questions from reporters.

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