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,
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