Barry Chin/Globe Staff/File 2015
Suffolk County District Attorney Daniel F. Conley announced Thursday the launch of a pilot program designed to provide treatment for non-violent drug offenders as opposed to prosecution and incarceration.
The program, called “Road to Recovery,” will launch in Dorchester on Jan. 2, Conley said at a press conference at the Devine Recovery Center in South Boston.
“Beginning next month, if members of the Boston Police find someone in simple possession of a controlled substance who presents no other apparent risk to public safety, they won’t make an arrest,” he said.
“Instead, they’ll issue a summons for that person to appear in court” the next day, not the typical wait of one month, Conley said, allowing the program to offer services faster than usual and providing an incentive to seek treatment.
Conley’s office is partnering with the Boston Police Department and the Gavin Foundation, a non-profit that provides substance abuse treatment.
Boston Police Commissioner William B. Evans said his officers use a “compassionate approach” when dealing with drug offenders.
“We understand these kids don’t need the criminal justice system, they need care, they need help, because just locking them up is not the solution,” he said.
Evans said the program is a much-needed addition to the city’s current approach to the opioid crisis.
“All of us know what an uphill battle we face with the opioid addiction within our city,” he said. “I read these police reports every day and see these young kids constantly overdosing … and dying.”
John McGahan, the president of the Gavin Foundation, said his organization stands ready to assist those in need of treatment.
“We will work diligently with the Boston Police Department to try to identify these folks, get them into the appropriate level of care, and provide them the … services which they need,” he said. “We believe and have a philosophy that people do recover and can recover.”
The program fills gaps in courtroom practices, Conley said, addressing the underlying issue in drug convictions instead of just prosecuting or releasing those faced with drug charges.
Typically, those who are charged with drug possession are either placed on pre-trial probation or have their charges dismissed outright, he said.
Instead, those who participate in the pilot program will have the option of receiving treatment as opposed to being arraigned, Conley said.
“If a person accepts the offer and completes the three-to-six-month program successfully, then the criminal charge will never issue,” he said. “The participant can focus on getting clean and staying sober, instead of fighting the case or paying fines and fees.”
With acceptance rates plummeting, college coaching has gone extreme.Continue reading »
In the Boston area, Sam Adams beer is as ubiquitous as Patriots fans and dropped Rs. But Somerville Mayor Joseph Curtatone won’t be drinking it anytime soon.Continue reading »
A Pennsylvania grand jury found that one priest was sent to a Central Massachusetts treatment facility during the time church authorities received complaints of sexual abuse against him in the early 1980s.Continue reading »
The racial gap in net worth, or the achievement gap in schools, or the crisis in unsolved homicides are more pressing than months of debate about Faneuil Hall.Continue reading »
Longtime incumbent Bill Galvin and his challenger Josh Zakim spoke over each other, cut each other off, and lashed out whenever one accused the other of misleading voters.Continue reading »
Two federal immigration agencies coordinated a campaign to bring immigrants who were seeking legal residency in for interviews at government offices, where they were then arrested.Continue reading »
“I will never drink Sam Adams beer again!” Somerville Mayor Joseph Curtatone tweeted after Jim Koch praised President Trump at a dinner last week.Continue reading »
Some of the most respected and widely circulated newspapers in the country are included on the list.Continue reading »