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December 20, 2021—The Allegany County State’s Attorney’s Office is launching a new diversion program – Education or Incarceration. This program is the first of its kind in our community and will target first- and second-time drug offenders who would be better served through rehabilitation rather than incarceration.
This pilot program will continue to strengthen our relationships with treatment providers while providing a benefit to individuals so they can engage in treatment as opposed to facing criminal prosecution.
The State’s Attorney is looking to prevent recidivism, eliminate continued drug use and save lives by preventing overdoses.
Three attorneys have been identified to actively participate in court proceedings and participate in the program’s operations by meeting with the coordinator regularly to discuss the individual progress of program participants.
During this program, treatment will be offered and progress tracked for compliance through to program completion. Participants will sign an agreement with the State’s Attorney’s Office outlining the requirements.
It is not news that Allegany County has a drug problem. In 2019, we were designated as a High Intensity Drug Trafficking area due to the influx of drug trafficking, overdose rates and fatalities occurring.
The Diversion Program will not only benefit the individuals involved, but will also help our community. It will divert those with addiction issues from the pricey cost of detention at $137.45 per day. It will decrease the chance of rearrest for low-risk defendants since they will not be facing a jail stay prior to trial. A few days of incarceration can result in the loss of housing or employment, missed payments and negative credit consequences, disruptions to family relationships and medical care, all resulting in an individual being more likely to engage in criminal behavior upon release.
In January 2022, we will be launching an information campaign that will focus on several approaches. ● Promotion of the diversion program
● Education of the ongoing dangers of fentanyl
● Informing the community that the State’s Attorney’s Office is a resource in the community ● Creating a social media presence along with traditional campaigns like radio, newspaper, geofencing, billboards, and mailers.
● Presence at community events
Supported by the Opioid Operational Command Center. The views presented here are those of the Allegany County State’s Attorney Office and not necessarily those of the OOCC, its Executive Director, or its staff.