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Orange County DA announces pilot program to help people arrested for substance abuse avoid jail time

The program is aimed at getting people treatment instead of doing jail time.

News 12 Staff

Jan 25, 2021, 10:46 PM

Updated 1,238 days ago

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Orange County has unveiled a pilot program to try to give help to people who have been arrested because of substance abuse.
The program is aimed at getting people treatment instead of doing jail time.
Orange County District Attorney David Hoovler announced the four-month pilot program with six police departments in the county.
From 2019 to 2020, overdoses in Orange County have gone up nearly 50%.
"The last thing I want to do is see parents lose their children and their loved ones. It's the last thing any of us want to see," says Hoovler.
So instead of simply locking up people battling addiction, the county is connecting people to law enforcement to treatment. It's called pre-arrest diversion.
Here's how it will work:
If someone is arrested for a misdemeanor drug charge, for example, the officer can offer that person a path to treatment by getting in touch with the nonprofit Hope not Handcuffs or through the county's 311 program.
If they stay on the treatment plan for four months, the charges they face will not be filed.


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