Appellate Court’s Decision Reflects NASW’s Input

22 Oct

This summer, Ohio’s Fourth Appellate District Court of Ohio decided in favor of Ohio resident Anastasia Clemons, reversing the ruling of a trial court that convicted her with the crime of “Corrupting Another with Drugs” because her newborn tested positive for criminalized drugs.  Ms. Clemen’s child was found to be healthy after birth and showed no adverse signs from exposure to the illegal substances. NASW’s Social Work Ethics and Law Institute submitted an amicus brief in the name of NASW Ohio Chapter for this case. The brief stated NASW’s position that criminal prosecution of women who use drugs during their pregnancy interrupts family stability and runs counter to the best interests of their children and society. The emphasis should be on the treatment and prevention of addiction, not on punishment of the addict. The appellate court’s ruling represents an important victory for Ms. Clemons — and all the women of Ohio who can now seek prenatal care and treatment for addiction without fear of being prosecuted.

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