BROOKVILLE — Attorney General Michelle Henry today announced that Jefferson County has joined the Law Enforcement Treatment Initiative (LETI), a collaborative program launched by the Pennsylvania Office of Attorney General and law enforcement to divert individuals in need to treatment services.
Jefferson County becomes the 21st county to join LETI as Attorney General Henry continues efforts to expand the program.
PA LETI is a law enforcement-led treatment initiative that will allow Pennsylvanians in Jefferson County seeking treatment for substance use disorder to avoid arrest by using local law enforcement, county officials, and community stakeholders, to contact the Jefferson-Clearfield Drug and Alcohol Commission.
“Opioids and the epidemic of drug addiction claim the lives of 14 Pennsylvanians every day,” Attorney General Henry said. “By connecting individuals to the treatment they need, LETI saves lives, makes our communities stronger, and helps to minimize the stigma associated with substance use disorder. I applaud the work that District Attorney Burkett and our law enforcement partners across Jefferson County are doing to help build stronger, healthier communities.”
AG Henry said partnering with Jefferson County law enforcement agencies and others under PA LETI will:
- Open their doors to those suffering from substance use disorder.
- Help identify individuals seeking treatment services.
- Assist with ensuring that people have transportation to treatment services.
- Maintain relationships with our local drug and alcohol administration to understand availability, and collect data to study outcomes.
In Jefferson County, individuals can walk into a police station or the local drug and alcohol authority and ask to be connected to substance abuse treatment without the threat of arrest or prosecution. This policy also gives police discretion to refer individuals to treatment rather than arrest and charge them criminally for low level drug offenses. This program allows law enforcement to offer treatment to people suffering from addiction and will help stop the revolving door that exists for individuals who do not receive treatment.
“I look forward to partnering with the Office of Attorney General and Jefferson-Clearfield Drug and Alcohol to provide much-needed resources to those who are in the chains of addiction to drugs and alcohol,” Jefferson County District Attorney Jeff Burkett said. “This epidemic is a scourge to our society and the human, relational, societal, health care and other costs are completely staggering. My hope is that this program will be a small but effective part of a coordinated response to this plague of human suffering.”
The LETI program will continue the work that Jefferson County has been doing to address the substance use in their community.
“Partnering with the Pennsylvania Office of the Attorney General and Jefferson County District Attorney’s Office is a wonderful opportunity for the Clearfield-Jefferson Drug & Alcohol Commission and one that will greatly benefit the citizens of Jefferson County,” said Chris Grunthaner, Director of Clearfield-Jefferson Drug & Alcohol Commission. “Our combined efforts will strengthen our ability to connect with individuals who are dealing with substance use disorders. LETI will provide an additional conduit for referrals to valuable treatment services, services that will assist individuals to identify and embrace a commitment to change, all while improving community-policing relationships and taking a big step towards breaking the stigma of drug and alcohol addiction.”
Since beginning in 2020, LETI has received nearly 700 referrals from concerned individuals throughout the Commonwealth.
Agent Janene Holter, PhD, 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, convening key community stakeholders, and case management of LETI referrals.
LETI currently operates in Berks, Bradford, Cameron, Carbon, Chester, Clearfield, Clinton, Columbia, Dauphin, Delaware, Elk, Fayette, Luzerne, Mifflin, Montgomery, Northumberland, Schuylkill, Snyder, Somerset, and Wyoming 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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