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New legislation in New York addresses heroine crisis in state

Last week's blog focused on diversion programs used to reduce the number of inmates with mental illness. These programs seek to treat these individuals instead of incarcerating them. Much like that type of diversion program, drug diversion programs seek to treat and rehabilitate those accused and even convicted of drug crimes. In addition to helping those with drug addiction or abuse problems, these programs also seek to decrease the usage of these drugs, as well as crimes committed that involve these drugs.

The New York State Senate Joint Task Force on Heroin, along with the Opioid Addiction Co-chair, recently announced that they would be acting on several bills soon in efforts to decrease heroin deaths and put more drug dealers behind bars. These legislations follow a series of task force forums, which helped collect information to better examine the issues created by heroin abuse.

In addition to passing new laws, the state also seeks to address the need for rehabilitation and treatment of those charged with heroin crimes. This resulted in an increase in funding for heroin treatment and prevention in the state. By enacting legislation to help get dealers off the street and treat those in the judicial system, the state hopes to be successful in reducing drug use and drug crimes related to heroin.

Those accused of a drug crime should understand the options available to him or her. In some cases, a diversion program such as one that helps treat and rehabilitate a drug user could be an option. This not only helps the individual avoid serious penalties such as jail time, but could also help the accused obtain the help they need.

While this new legislation package is still being considered, alleged offenders should be aware of how these new laws could impact the consequences they face if they are charged with a crime after they are enacted. Moreover, defendants should understand the defense options available to them. Defendants should learn more about their legal defense options and understand ways they could better protect their rights and interests.

Source: Wnypapers.com, "Ortt announces action to be taken on bills to fight New York's heroin crisis," June 4, 2015

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