Brooklyn Collaborative Legal Engagement Assistance Response (CLEAR) redirects low-level drug offenders who receive Desk Appearance Tickets to community-based treatment services as an alternative to incarceration and prosecution.
Clients Served Last Year:
Brooklyn, along with the rest of the country, is facing a very tragic drug and opioid epidemic that has taken countless lives, and far too often individuals do not know where to turn to for help. Many low-level offenders find themselves facing jail time instead of necessary treatment.
Expose and engage individuals who are at-risk of being jailed and who would not otherwise be seeking treatment, or even know where to find treatment, to treatment services.
How We Do it:
Brooklyn CLEAR is a joint project between EAC Network, Kings County District Attorney’s Office, the NYC Police Department, VOCAL-NY, The Legal Aid Society, NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, and New York City Council.
Right from the time of police contact, officers bring a participant to the precinct where s/he is immediately paired with an on-call Peer Mentor. The Peer Mentor teaches the participant how to use an emergency overdose reversal medication and gives the participant an emergency kit whether or not the participant decides to subsequently join the CLEAR program.
If the participant joins CLEAR, the Peer Mentor continues to encourage and support the participant and instructs them to report to a CLEAR case manager within seven days of the initial arrest. Once the participant meets with, and is assessed by, the case manager, the District Attorney will put off the arresting case for 30 days, and the participant will receive a new court date. Treatment recommendations are then provided to the participant. If the participant engages in the recommended treatment services, the District Attorney will drop the charges, there will be no further court date, and the arrest is sealed.
The Outcomes of Brooklyn CLEAR
Brooklyn CLEAR links those who struggle with addiction to treatment services, thereby reducing overdoses and criminal activity, which ultimately increases public safety.