Michigan Corrections Chief Looking for Alternatives for Heroin Offenders

Jan 3, 2016

Credit MPRN

(MPRN-Lansing) State corrections officials are preparing for a wave of drug offenders entering the system for getting caught with heroin and other narcotics. 

Heroin and opioid abuse is rising across the country and in Michigan. But state Corrections Director Heidi Washington says, in most cases, prison isn’t the answer for offenders.

“The goal is to break the cycle of incarceration, to stop people from coming in the front door. That would be the best case scenario.”

Washington says her department is looking for alternatives to incarceration, such as residential treatment programs. She says that’s more likely to keep offenders from repeating their crimes.

A state task force has also been looking at ways to combat opioid addiction, including making it easier for people to seek help before they’re arrested for a drug crime.