State lawmakers consider creating opioid intervention court
State lawmakers in Hartford are in early talks about creating an opioid intervention court that would primarily try to treat and track addicts.
It would assign opioid addicts to teams that would get them intensive treatment and track them with ankle monitors.
The state Judiciary Committee is mulling whether to study the possibility of creating such a court. Two similar courts exist in New York state.
Connecticut has two drug courts, in New Haven and Danielson, which focus on all types of drug cases, not just opioids.
The idea faces opposition from the state court system, which says it already provides alternatives in drug cases, and at least one group that advocates for addicts.
Michael Askew leads the nonprofit Connecticut Community for Addiction Recovery in Bridgeport. A recovering drug addict himself, he says the money would be better spent expanding the existing drug courts statewide.
"I would love to see recovery coaches in courts, even police departments," he says. "I think even in the front end, before the person gets to court."
Bridgeport had its own drug court until five years ago. The state says more than 40 percent of addicts sent to it avoided subsequent arrests.