Union County Will Launch LETI Program, Becoming 29th County to Join Office of Attorney General’s Diversion Initiative

May 15, 2024 | Topic: LETI

The Office of Attorney General’s Program with Local Law Enforcement Connects Individuals to Treatment

UNION —  Attorney General Michelle Henry announced today that Union 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.

Union County becomes the 29th county to join LETI as Attorney General Henry continues efforts to expand the program.

PA LETI is a law enforcement-led treatment initiative that enables Pennsylvanians in Union County seeking treatment for substance use disorder to contact probation and parole services, the sheriff’s department, other county officials, and community stakeholders, who will then contact the Columbia, Montour, Snyder, and Union Counties Drug and Alcohol Commission (CMSU). 

“I applaud Union County’s attention to this crisis and the need to divert individuals from criminal charges and prison when treatment services are in the best interests of the person and community,” said Attorney General Michelle Henry. “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 commend the work that District Attorney Kerstetter and our law enforcement partners across Union County are doing to help build stronger, healthier communities.”

AG Henry said partnering with Union 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 Union County, individuals can walk into the police station, probation office, sheriff’s department, or the local drug and alcohol authority and ask to be connected to substance abuse treatment. This program also empowers 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 LETI program will continue the work that Union County has been doing to address the substance abuse in their community. 

“Many crimes in our area are addiction driven. Our prisons are overcrowded,” District Attorney Brian Kerstetter said. “Drug treatment court programs have been very successful in reducing recidivism but graduates of those programs are left with criminal convictions which can adversely affect employment opportunities, military service and higher education. The Law Enforcement Treatment Initiative provides individuals who are suffering from addiction the opportunity to obtain treatment and potentially avoid the stain of a criminal conviction which is equally beneficial for the addict and the community as a whole. I would like to thank the Attorney General and her staff for assisting in the implementation of the LETI Program here in Union County.”

Since beginning in 2020, LETI has received 1,370 referrals from concerned individuals throughout the Commonwealth. 

“It is an honor to collaborate with Union County Law Enforcement to allow an opportunity to offer substance use treatment and avoid the criminal justice system,” a spokesperson for CMSU Drug and Alcohol said. “CMSU Drug and Alcohol has seen other county LETI programs empower law enforcement, individuals, and families of individuals with substance use disorders and is excited to see Union County utilize this program and enhance the community’s awareness of substance use and decrease criminal charges as a result of crime.”

Agent Lauren Diller 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 Armstrong, Berks, Bradford, Butler, Cameron, Carbon, Chester, Clearfield, Clinton, Columbia, Dauphin, Delaware, Elk, Erie, Fayette, Indiana, Jefferson, Luzerne, Mifflin, Monroe, Montgomery, Northumberland, Schuylkill, Snyder, Somerset, Sullivan, Wayne, 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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