Program to Help Addicts Instead of Jail Them So Effective, 200 Police Depts Across US Have Adopted It – Free Thought Project
The problem of the war on drugs can be summed up in one phrase – it’s a war on people. While far too many cops gladly take part in this war to profit from civil asset forfeiture or to perpetuate the oppression of minorities, some are taking a decidedly different approach and it’s working.
As the opioid epidemic came into full force in recent years, one police chief in Massachusetts had a novel idea – help drug addicts instead of throwing them in a cage. This led to the creation of the Angel Program.
As the Boston Globe reports:
“As Gloucester police chief, Leonard Campanello pledged in 2015 that drug users could walk into the police station, hand over heroin, and walk out into treatment within hours — without arrest or charges. The concept of help rather than handcuffs became a national sensation.”
Campanello is no longer police chief there, but the program is continuing in Gloucester. The concept of helping addicts instead of criminalizing them is such a success, it’s been adopted by 200 police agencies in 28 states. This encouraging phenomenon shows that it’s possible for law enforcement to listen to reason when it comes to drug abuse and actually helping communities.
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