Just Like Seattle and Portugal – 

Aug. 26, 2019 – “Our largest mental health and addiction institutions in the state are our prisons and our local jails,” said state Rep. Leslie Herod, one of the legislation’s sponsors. “That’s got to change.” Duncan and others in the local law enforcement community fear the “defelonization” of drug possession will make a bad situation worse by shifting the financial burden of drug cases from the state to counties and eliminating the deterrent of a felony record. “The criminal justice system is the vehicle to try and force people into treatment,” Eighth Judicial District Attorney Cliff Riedel said. “Continually reducing the possible penalties is not the way to encourage people to seek treatment and avoid starting drugs in the first place.”

Debate continues about how exactly the downgrading of drug possession charges will influence the entangled webs of criminal justice and addiction treatment in Larimer County, where the jail is years away from expansion, voters approved funding for mental and behavioral health services, and courts struggle to wrangle voluminous caseloads…

Full Story @ Coloradoan.com

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