Attorney General Josh Shapiro today announced that Berks and Delaware counties have joined the Law Enforcement Treatment Initiative (LETI), a program launched by Attorney General Shapiro in collaboration with law enforcement that provides assistance to Pennsylvanians suffering from substance use disorders in enrolling in a treatment program.
Six counties have previously joined the LETI program.
PA LETI allows Pennsylvanians seeking treatment for addiction to use their local law enforcement, including sheriffs, probation officers, and parole officers as a resource to contact participating treatment partners without the threat of arrest.
“As Pennsylvania recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic, we cannot forget the ongoing opioid epidemic that takes the lives of eleven Pennsylvanians every day,” said Attorney General Josh Shapiro.
“Connecting individuals to the treatment they need will save lives and make our communities safer, and I commend Berks County District Attorney John Adams and Delaware County District Attorney Jack Stollsteimer for their commitment to tackling this crisis that impacts every community in our Commonwealth.”
Shapiro said partnering Berks County and Delaware County law enforcement agencies under PA LETI will:
- Open their station doors to those suffering from addiction.
- Help identify treatment for those who seek it.
- Assist with ensuring that people have transportation to the facilities.
- Maintain relationships with local treatment providers to understand availability, and collect data to study outcomes.
In Berks County and Delaware County, individuals can contact a member of law enforcement at any time to ask for a referral or to be connected to treatment with no threat of arrest or prosecution.
This policy also includes the ability for law enforcement to connect individuals to treatment at their discretion.
“Treatment is many times the most appropriate tool to help low level, nonviolent offenders. Having a diversion program that helps people before they become another statistic of the criminal justice system makes complete sense, and will help us keep the right people out of that system and on the road to recovery” said Berks County District Attorney John Adams.
“We look forward to helping people in Berks County who are in need of Drug and Alcohol treatment as soon as the need is identified. Immediate referrals to treatment will save lives, and reduce the costs of the criminal justice system.”
“LETI is a true diversion for non-violent individuals who come into contact with the criminal justice system on account of drug dependency. Together with our Drug Treatment Court and the Second Chance Court, this is another tool in our toolbox to get people help that works,” said Delaware County District Attorney Jack Stollsteimer.
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, providing sample policies and documents, and convening key community stakeholders.
LETI currently operates in Bradford, Carbon, Dauphin, Northumberland, Schuylkill, and Somerset counties. District Attorneys in Pennsylvania interested in starting a PA LETI program should contact the Office of Attorney General at 570-826-2483.