- Associated Press - Thursday, December 24, 2015

BALTIMORE (AP) - The Baltimore Police Department is working with a local nonprofit organization to adopt a program that would allow low-level drug offenders to avoid arrest and instead receive treatment and support services.

The Baltimore Sun (https://bsun.md/1OcHrTf ) reports that the Law Enforcement Assisted Diversion program encourages law enforcement officers to direct people who would otherwise be charged with low-level drug-related offenses into community-based services.

The program is modeled after one that began in 2011 in Seattle, where authorities also have struggled to deal with the city’s chronic drug problem.

The program, scheduled to begin in early 2016, will be funded by a $200,000 grant from the Open Society Institute-Baltimore.

Diana Morris, the nonprofit’s director, says having arrests on an offender’s record only hinders an offender’s ability to obtain jobs, housing and education.

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Information from: The Baltimore Sun, https://www.baltimoresun.com


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