Columbia County Joins AG Shapiro’s Treatment Initiative

April 25, 2022 | Topic: LETI

Announcement Marks 15th County to Join OAG’s Program with Local Law Enforcement to Connect Individuals Suffering from Addiction with Treatment

BLOOMSBURG—Attorney General Josh Shapiro today announced that Columbia County has joined the Law Enforcement Treatment Initiative (LETI), a program launched by Attorney General Shapiro in collaboration with law enforcement that provides assistance to Pennsylvanians suffering from substance use disorders in enrolling in a treatment program. Thirteen counties across the Commonwealth have previously joined the LETI program.

PA LETI allows Pennsylvanians seeking treatment for addiction to use their local law enforcement, including sheriffs, police officers, probation officers, and parole officers, as a resource to contact participating treatment partners without the threat of arrest.

“I commend District Attorney Leipold and our law enforcement partners across Columbia County for implementing this life-saving program in their communities,” said AG Shapiro. “LETI connects individuals to the treatment they need – it will save lives, make our communities stronger and safer, and help minimize the stigma associated with substance use disorder that too often prevents people from getting help.”

Shapiro said partnering Columbia County law enforcement agencies under PA LETI will:

  • Open their doors to those suffering from addiction.
  • Help identify treatment for those who seek it.
  • Assist with ensuring that people have transportation to the facilities.
  • Maintain relationships with local treatment providers to understand the availability and collect data to study outcomes.

In Columbia County, individuals can contact a member of law enforcement at any time to ask for a referral or to be connected to treatment with no threat of arrest or prosecution. This policy also includes the ability for law enforcement to connect individuals to treatment at their discretion.

“The scourge of addiction continues to permeate our communities. The Law Enforcement Treatment Initiative or LETI is a state-supported community outreach program that enables and encourages local law enforcement officers who come in contact with non-violent, drug dependent individuals to refer them directly to available treatment resources. The program also provides monitoring to assure that participants follow through with their recommended treatment. LETI provides another opportunity and method to respond to the problem of addiction in Columbia County and I urge our local officers to become actively involved in implementing it,” said Columbia County District Attorney Thomas Leipold.

Agent Janene Holter, Ph.D., is the Office of Attorney General’s dedicated full-time agent who coordinates PA LETI. Her work includes training, writing policies for each participating county, providing sample policies and documents, and convening key community stakeholders.

LETI currently operates in Berks, Bradford, Carbon, Chester, Clearfield, Dauphin, Delaware, Fayette, Mifflin, Montgomery, Northumberland, Schuylkill, Snyder, and Somerset counties. District Attorneys in Pennsylvania interested in starting a PA LETI program should contact the Office of Attorney General at 570-826-2483.

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