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MacDonald, Macomb officials outline benefits of drug abuse diversion programs

LANSING, Mich. — Sen. Michael D. MacDonald on Tuesday joined Assistant Macomb County Prosecutor David Portuesi and Families Against Narcotics (FAN) Executive Director Linda Davis at a hearing of the Senate Judiciary and Public Safety Committee to outline the benefits of drug abuse diversion programs and the need for legislation to specially allow them.

Davis is a former 41B District Court judge and now heads FAN, a community-based organization founded in Fraser for those seeking recovery, those in recovery, family members affected by addiction and community supporters.

“My bill is designed to clarify the law to allow efforts to put a focus on addressing the problem of drug abuse and addiction instead of simply punishing the offenders,” said MacDonald, R-Macomb Township. “The Macomb County prosecutor and FAN have collaborated to create the REDIRECT program, a new diversion program related to drug abuse or dependency.

“The program improves outcomes, reduces abuse, and saves taxpayer dollars by offering people struggling with substance abuse a chance to get the treatment they need rather than just throwing them in jail.”

Senate Bill 1027 would clarify that a prosecutor’s office, law enforcement agency, and a community organization may partner to establish a supervision program that diverts individuals suspected of possessing or using a controlled substance away from criminal prosecution and into the supervision program.

The program must include appropriate substance use disorder treatment and could be offered to people who are suspected of possessing or using a controlled substance for personal use.

Under the bill, if the prosecutor’s office and the community organization agree that an individual has successfully completed the terms of his or her supervision, the person would not be prosecuted for the drug-related criminal offense.

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Editor’s note: The above photograph is available by clicking on the image or by visiting www.SenatorMichaelMacDonald.com/photos.

Photo caption: Sen. Michael D. MacDonald, R-Macomb Township, is joined by Assistant Macomb County Prosecutor David Portuesi and Families Against Narcotics Executive Director Linda Davis to outline to the Senate Judiciary and Public Safety Committee the benefits of drug abuse diversion programs and the need to legislation to specially allow them. Senate Bill 1027 would clarify that a prosecutor’s office, law enforcement agency, and a community organization may partner to establish a supervision program that offers people struggling with substance abuse a chance to get the treatment they need rather than just throwing them in jail.