OAG’s Program with Local Law Enforcement Connects Individuals to Treatment
HARRISBURG— Attorney General Michelle Henry today announced that Monroe 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.
Monroe County becomes the 23rd county to join LETI as Attorney General Henry continues efforts to expand the program. With today’s addition of Monroe County, the Law Enforcement Treatment Initiative has reached more than one third of all Pennsylvania counties so far.
PA LETI is a law enforcement-led treatment initiative that will allow Pennsylvanians in Monroe County seeking treatment for substance use disorder to avoid arrest by using local law enforcement, county officials, and community stakeholders, to contact the Carbon, Monroe, Pike Drug & Alcohol Commission.
“Opioids and the epidemic of drug addiction claim the lives of dozens of Pennsylvanians every week,” Attorney General Michelle 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 Christine and our law enforcement partners across Monroe County are doing to help build stronger, healthier communities.”
AG Henry said partnering with Monroe 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 Monroe 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.
“The start of the LETI Program on May 4 is historic for our county. This will represent a major step forward in addressing the root cause of much of the low-level crime overburdening our law enforcement and courts,” Monroe County First Assistant District Attorney Mike Mancuso said. “With LETI as a resource referral, nonviolent offenders will be encouraged to obtain treatment instead of taking their chances in the court system. Anyone can make a LETI referral. As more of these offenders benefit from appropriate treatment, crime rates and the associated costs will decrease. Our community will benefit across the board. It’s a very exciting time in Monroe County.”
The LETI program will continue the work that Monroe County has been doing to address the substance use in their community.
“The LETI Program has opened up needed access points to get people with substance use disorder the help they need in a timely manner,” said Jamie Drake, Executive Director of Carbon, Monroe, Pike Drug & Alcohol Commission. “The collaboration between the criminal justice system and the drug and alcohol field is essential to the success of this program.”
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, Erie, Fayette, Jefferson, 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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