One year after it began, a program in Gloucester, Massachusetts that provides treatment instead of jail for those surrendering drugs is showing promise, according to WBUR.
The program lets people come to the Gloucester police department for help getting into treatment. Since it began, more than 400 people have gone to the city’s police for help. More than 100 police departments nationwide are implementing similar programs.
Last year, Gloucester Police Chief Leonard Campanello posted on Facebook, “We will walk them through the system toward detox and recovery. We will assign them an ‘angel’ who will be their guide through the process. Not in hours or days, but on the spot.” He said he started the program after witnessing a jump in overdose deaths and drug-related crimes, and seeing officers arresting the same people repeatedly.