Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2022, $1,299,995)
Opioid-related overdose mortalities remain a significant problem in the United States in general, and in NYS in particular. SUD is a chronic but treatable medical condition; yet, it remains highly stigmatized and often leads to involvement with the criminal justice system in the U.S.
Existing diversion programs generally fall into five deflection typologies: self-referral, officer referral, active outreach, naloxone plus and officer intervention. HNH is considered an example of a program where community and law enforcement collaborate to encourage those with a SUD to seek community-based treatment. Sullivan County, NY is part of the Mid-Hudson Region of NYS and is one of the counties involved with HNH-HV.
HNH-HV wants to continue taking a progressive and innovative approach to combatting SUD in the region and have begun laying the groundwork to implement a third deflection typology: officer and assistant district attorney intervention, but implementing this type of deflection pathway has come with its own set of challenges including a lack of community resources, buy-in from local law enforcement officers, and capacity issues within HNH-HV itself. Sullivan County is a very rural county in NYS and no successful work with this SUD population can happen without the neighboring county, Orange County, because of the vast amount of community resources that are shared between them. That is why the DA’s Office in Sullivan County is applying on behalf of HNH-HV to expand the services they provide through funds issued by BJA FY 22 COSSAP subcategory 1(b) solicitation. 100% of the budget will be used to support the proposed grant program.
The proposed program design has two components: expanding the work HNH-HV is already accomplishing, building on the cross-system collaboration already occurring in the region, and adding a pre-arrest/post-arrest deflection pathway that will begin as a pilot program in Sullivan County, before expanding to neighboring Orange County, with a goal of reducing the number of non-fatal and fatal drug overdoses. The areas the proposed project will address are Category 1: creating a law enforcement and other first responder deflection and diversion program and creating a pre-booking or post-booking alternative-to-incarceration program.