A common phrase often repeated to those struggling with drug addiction is that their future can be one of three things: treatment, jail or death.
A Massachusetts sheriff says because of the magnitude of the state's opioid crisis, he wants to bring treatment to jail.
Essex County Sheriff Frank Cousins is requesting $2 million for a 42-bed treatment unit at the Middleton jail that would serve those charged with nonviolent offenses who are awaiting trial.
The unit would be the first of its kind in New England, and possibly in the nation.
- "The unit, which would serve inmates who are facing charges for nonviolent offenses and have not been convicted and sentenced, would be the first such unit based at a jail in New England, Cousins said. The sheriff has no model for the plan, and no other jail he can point to as having had success with it. That concerns some inmate advocates who question whether a jail is the appropriate place to treat addiction."