At least five states have reclassified simple drug possession from a felony to misdemeanor since 2014 in an effort to reduce prison populations—and it seems to be working, according to a new report released by the Urban Institute. The results support a growing body of evidence that shows treatment, not incarceration, is the most effective way to address drug addiction, as the country continues to grapple with the opioid crisis, according to the study.
Correction officials have long been skeptical of the efficacy and high cost of administering such medications to inmates. But their use is increasing in many states, including Rhode Island, Vermont, Massachusetts, Illinois, Ohio, New Jersey and Washington, and in such cities as New York, Albuquerque and Los Angeles.
The use of involuntary commitment for drug addiction is expanding across the country, as desperate families seek help for their loved ones. But it is likely to make things worse, say two health policy and law experts.
A follow-up study looked into 26 overdoses that occurred in just five hours last August when a batch of heroin laced with fentanyl and an elephant sedative was sold. Many lives were saved by medical responders, but no overdose patient was willing to go into drug treatment.
The father and son who ran one of New York's largest drug treatment programs were arrested again this week, along with four other executives, in a widening state probe into the “sober home” providers. The New York Attorney General's office is accusing former Narco Freedom CEO Alan Brand and son Jason of defrauding Medicaid and syphoning company revenue. Indictments detail an alleged crime ring headed by the Brands and Narco Freedom's current CEO Gerald Bethea, who was also indicted, along […]
An increase in heroin overdose deaths and the legalization of marijuana in some places prompted many of the nation’s police leaders to gather in Washington, D.C., yesterday for a “national summit” to discuss what the Police Executive Research Forum (PERF), the event’s organizer, termed a “fundamental shift” in thinking about drugs in the U.S. and its impact on policing. “The country hasn’t woken up” to the changes, partly because much of the national data on drug abuse are so out […]
Since repealing the Rockefeller drug laws in 2009, New York has seen a dramatic rise in the number of felony drug offenders mandated to treatment, instead of prison, according to a study by the Center for Court Innovation. The study found that in the first year after New York adopted “judicial diversion” provisions — giving judges discretion to refer offenders to treatment — nearly 1,400 more drug-addicted offenders were mandated treatment, an increase of 77 percent from the year before. […]
The National Institute of Justice (NIJ) recently released its first of three evaluations of several federally funded adult re-entry courts. Reentry courts are “specialized courts that help reduce recidivism and improve public safety through the use of judicial oversight to apply graduated sanctions and positive reinforcement, to marshal resources to support the prisoner's reintegration, and to promote positive behavior by the returning prisoners,” according to the Bureau of Justice Assistance. NIJ examined eight fledgling programs around the country, documenting implementation […]