What are Police Assisted Recovery Programs?
- A model of community-oriented policing that provides law enforcement (or other systems representatives such as Fire & EMS) discretion to divert individuals out of the criminal justice system and into appropriate treatment or social services systems.
- Police Assisted Addiction Recovery programs include pre-arrest diversion programs and Quick Response Teams for overdose follow up and connection to treatment resources. These programs require partnerships between law enforcement and treatment/social service providers.
What is the Angel Program?
- Individuals who enter police department participating in the Angel Program and requests help for their addiction to opioids will be immediately screened and connected to treatment. As a police-led and volunteer supported initiative, officers will connect people with substance use disorders to treatment options in the community, while volunteer “Angels” support participants during the intake process.
- Moreover, officers will dispose of any drugs or drug equipment in the participant’s possession and not charge them with a crime.
The language in the Angel Program Legislation needs to be updated:
APAC advocates for the expansion and promotion of this very innovative and effective piece of legislation.
Barriers to treatment has perpetuated addiction in Kentucky – APAC is seeking removal of treatment barriers within the Angel Program legislation. The current language is too restrictive. Please see updated proposed language:
KRS 15.525 Referral program for substance abuse treatment.
(1) A law enforcement agency may create a program to refer persons to treatment for substance use who voluntarily seek assistance from the law enforcement agency.
(2) A person voluntarily seeking assistance through a program created pursuant to this section:
(a) Shall not be placed under arrest; and
(b) Shall not be prosecuted for the possession of any controlled substance, or drug paraphernalia, or other item surrendered to the law enforcement agency. Items surrendered pursuant to this paragraph shall be recorded by the law enforcement agency at the time of surrender and shall be destroyed;
(c) Shall be immediately referred to a community mental health center, medical provider, or other entity for substance use treatment.
(3) A person is ineligible for placement through a program established pursuant to this section if the person:
(a) Has an outstanding extraditable arrest warrant;
(b) Has an extensive violent history and/or places law enforcement and its representatives in reasonable apprehension of physical injury, which makes them a danger to themselves or others.
(c) Is under the age of eighteen (18) and does not have the consent of a parent or guardian.
The emphasis on rehabilitation as opposed to incarceration should lead to a healthier community and a decrease in crimes of desperation that are ancillary to the disease of addiction.