Brooklyn As each day passes, the opioid epidemic in the United States appears to be worsening.
While officials on both the local and federal level are doing what they can to combat the crisis, officials in Brooklyn announced plans that take it a step further.
“We’re going to change how we approach these cases,” announced Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzales.
The D.A. joined forces with the NYPD and the NYC Council to launch a groundbreaking diversion program that aims to assist individuals who suffer from drug dependency and misuse.
Brooklyn ‘CLEAR’ gives those offenders facing charges an opportunity to get treatment instead of jail time.
“The idea is very simple instead of processing these misdemeanor arrests the traditional way,” Gonzales said at a press conference Tuesday. “We’re going to give the people who get arrested and option to seek treatment and other services.”
Individuals become eligible to participate in the program only after receiving a desk appearance ticket.
A peer mentor is dispatched after the arrest and connects with the offender at the precinct where they learn about their options.
Those who opt in, receive a 7-day window to visit a local rehab center which will then begin the treatment.
“Instead of their case going back to court, my office will decline to prosecute that case only if they’re actively and meaningfully participating in their own treatment,” D.A. Gonzales said.
Brooklyn father Abraham Klein knows all too well about the heartache of opioid addiction.
Six years ago, he lost his daughter following a drug overdose in the family’s home in Borough Park. He says a program like CLEAR would’ve saved her life. Read more: http://pix11.com/2018/03/06/brooklyn-clear-program-assists-offenders-with-drug-treatment-instead-of-jail-time/