Grant Creates Alternative to Jail For Nonviolent Drug Offenders

Governor Larry Hogan has announced a $540,000 state grant to test a pilot program that will allow nonviolent drug offenders to stay home and take recovery classes instead of going to jail. The program fulfills one of the key recommendations from the state’s Heroin and Opioid Emergency Task Force.

According to the Washington Post,

The governor’s office on Monday announced it was providing the Washington County Sheriff’s Office $540,000 to open the state’s first adult day reporting center.

Offenders ordered by judges to serve their sentences at the center will take classes on life skills and landing jobs, while undergoing counseling and medication to treat their addictions. They will be periodically drug tested and required to have jobs or look for work.

Offenders are required to spend at least 92 days at the center in a six-month period. They risk incarceration if they don’t participate.

Administration officials say this approach is more likely to reduce recidivism and keep neighborhoods safe.

In a statement, Washington County Sheriff Doug Mullendore said “the right path for substance-addicted offenders is to treat them as individuals who have a medical condition, rather than try to solve the problem through incarceration.”

Read the full article for more information.

The innovative efforts counties are putting forward to counter overdoses and the opioid crisis will be discussed at the MACo Summer Conference session “Counties Confront Substance Abuse: What’s Now, What’s New, and What’s Next”, from 1:00 pm -2:00 pm, Friday, August 19, 2016 at the Roland Powell Convention Center in Ocean City, Maryland.

Attendees of the MACo Summer Conference will also have the opportunity to attend on-site training to be certified and equipped with naloxone. The “Learn to Save a Life – Naloxone Training for Opioid Overdoses will be held Friday, August 19 from 2:15 pm- 3:15 pm, and Saturday, August 20 from 8:00 am – 9:15 am.

Learn more about MACo’s Summer Conference: