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September 23, 2015
Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency Announces Federal Award for Pilot Program for the Treatment of
Non-Violent Drug and Alcohol Dependent Offenders  
Harrisburg, PA. — The Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency (PCCD) announced the receipt of over $1.7 million in competitive grant funds from the U.S. Department of Justice for a pilot program that will divert non-violent drug and alcohol-dependent offenders directly to treatment after arrest.
“Over the past five years, Pennsylvania has participated in the Justice Reinvestment Initiative (JRI), which is focused on safely reducing the number of offenders in our state prison system,” Chairman Josh Shapiro said.  “This new pilot program will enhance those efforts by targeting non-violent offenders at the point of arrest and directing them immediately to appropriate treatment options.  Offenders will be actively working toward their recovery and eventual release back into society from day one. This program saves money while increasing the safety of our communities. It’s a win-win for taxpayers.” 
PCCD intends to release a competitive solicitation to partner with up to seven counties that will participate in this pilot program. Specific consideration will be given to those counties that historically place the highest number of individuals into the state prison system. Consideration will also be given to those counties that already have experience in diversion programs and substance abuse treatment.
“Research has shown that alternative sentences, particularly Pennsylvania’s County Intermediate Punishment/Drug and Alcohol Restrictive Intermediate Punishment, can have a positive effect on non-violent offenders clinically diagnosed to have drug and alcohol dependency,” Shapiro said.  “They are less likely to reoffend in the long-run, and by diverting them from incarceration, we save millions in corrections costs.  Our pilot program will be built upon this model of success.”
As offenders complete the pilot and sentencing period, evaluations will be done to determine the pilot’s effectiveness. PCCD estimates that approximately 400 offenders could receive treatment services over a 36-month period leading to a projected savings to taxpayers of $6.5 million to $8.5 million in correctional cost avoidance.
The mission of the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency is to increase the safety of our communities by enhancing the quality of the criminal and juvenile justice systems and the services offered to those that have been a victim of a crime.
MEDIA CONTACT: Matthew Leonard, 717.265.8539
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