SITES

Bronx County District Attorney’s Office

Bronx County, NY

Overview/Goals

The Bronx County District Attorney’s Office (Bronx DA) is leading a coalition of  government and community-based stakeholders in the Bronx to reduce opioid use disorder (OUD), fatal and nonfatal overdose, and other harms to public health and safety. Using the Sequential Intercept Model as a strategic-planning framework, the Bronx DA and partners are assessing available resources, determining gaps in services, and implementing community-level change.

Approach

The Bronx DA and its partners created the Overdose Avoidance and Recovery (OAR) program, the first program of its kind in New York City. OAR serves people charged with possession of a controlled substance, high-frequency drug users, and defendants who are high-frequency users of multiple systems (health care, child welfare, criminal justice) and who have a history of opioid use or are at risk of overdose. At arraignment, court hearings, and initial detention (Intercept 2), all defendants with misdemeanor drug-related charges are screened by the DA’s office to determine preliminary eligibility for OAR programming. A second screening (using a tool developed by New York University’s Marron Institute of Urban Management) is then conducted by Bronx Community Solutions at the first court appearance. Defendants who meet program criteria are given the opportunity to participate in OAR programming in a dedicated court (Intercept 3). OAR links these persons to evidence-based treatment and recovery-support services, both as an alternative to incarceration and as diversion from the criminal process entirely. The Alternatives to Incarceration Bureau (ATI) serves as the hub for the OAR program.

Coalition partners are also implementing HOPE, a program that diverts people from the criminal justice system to peer-support services in the community. Police officers (Intercept 1) use a public health approach to connect people who exhibit signs of opioid use disorder with  peer coaches. These coaches facilitate immediate access to treatment and health services.

Partners

New York University

Marron Institute
60 Fifth Avenue, 2nd Floor
New York, NY 10011
(646) 308-1520

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