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Kenton County Commonwealth’s Attorney Office’s HEART program recognized for addiction solutions

Addiction Policy Forum, a leading national nonprofit, recognized the Kenton County Commonwealth’s Attorney Office’s Heroin Expedited Addiction Recovery Treatment (HEART) program in its Kentucky Innovations to Address Addiction report.

Kenton County Commonwealth’s Attorney Rob Sanders accepted the Innovation Now award from the Addiction Policy Forum in recognition of its H.E.A.R.T. program (provided photo).

It spotlighted innovative programs that address addiction and provide support for families and communities in recognizing the program.

“The Kentucky Innovation Now report recognizes revolutionary programs, such as HEART, that are transforming the response to addiction in Kentucky and offering solutions during a time of crisis,” says Jessica Hulsey, founder of the Addiction Policy Forum.

HEART’s goal is getting people who face low-level, non-violent offenses out of jail and into meaningful, intensive drug treatment as soon as possible.

Counselors conduct in-jail evaluations that look at history, background, resources, family, insurance, and housing status to determine the best fit for treatment.

A recommendation is made to the judge, and defendants are released without having to post a cash bond. Those who comply with treatment often receive improved plea offers which usually include shorter sentences and periods of supervision, and sometimes reduced charges.

“Instead of warehousing people in jail, we needed to get them out of cells and into treatment on the front end, not on the back end,” says Commonwealth Attorney Rob Sanders. “It is an honor to be recognized by Addiction Policy Forum as an innovative solution to the addiction crisis in Kentucky.”

Addiction Policy Forum is a nationwide nonprofit organization dedicated to eliminating addiction as a major health problem. Its national headquarters are located in Bethesda, Maryland, with resources and services in every state.

More information on its mission and projects is available here.

Kenton County Commonwealth’s Attorney Office

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