The Chicago Police Department is planning to expand a pilot program that gives detainees arrested for drugs the option of treatment or jail time.
The department launched the diversion program in 2016. It was created to help stem the annual deaths related to heroin and fentanyl overdoses on the city's west side.
The results of the program were studied by the University of Chicago Health Lab. Professor Harold Pollack says the police did a good job of selecting candidates who didn't have violent histories.
The department is planning to expand the program next year. Under the revamped program, patrol officers will identify candidates for diversion, and experts will evaluate them for entry into the appropriate therapy. The department hopes to grow the program citywide.