$2M+ awarded to criminal justice agencies to help with state’s heroin, opioid crisis

Money will go toward abuse prevention efforts as well as treatment services

NORTHAMPTON, Mass. (WWLP) – More than $2 million is being awarded to agencies across the state to help combat heroin and opioid abuse in Massachusetts.

It is the Baker-Polito administration’s second round of competitive federal grants to be awarded to state district attorneys, sheriffs, and other criminal justice agencies to enhance their prevention, diversion, enforcement, and treatment efforts when it comes to fighting the heroin and opioid crisis.

The following western Massachusetts agencies have been awarded funding:

  • Hampden County Sheriff’s Department: $188,837 (diversion)
  • Hampshire Sheriff’s Department: $120,812 (treatment)
  • Franklin County Sheriff’s Department: $133,000 (treatment)
  • Berkshire County Sheriff’s Department: $108,657 (treatment)
  • Northwestern District Attorney’s Office: $86,860 (diversion)

“These law enforcement organizations have valuable experience in providing treatment to individuals looking to get back on their feet and work beyond their addiction,” said Governor Charlie Baker in a release sent to 22News. “We look forward to seeing them sustain the progress they are making in their communities, providing a powerful positive impact to those in need of recovery services.”

Local residents told 22News that every little bit helps, when it comes to fighting this epidemic.

“I think we really need every avenue, no stone untouched to try to help, because this is beyond an epidemic here,” Jo Ella Tarbutton of Springfield said.

The Northwestern District Attorney’s Office’s funding is intended to helping addicted, nonviolent offenders receive treatment rather than being prosecuted. The office has received this funding before, which helped them to start a drug court program in 2016. Since it began, four more courts have opened. Through this system, 46 offenders have received treatment.