Suffolk District Attorney Timothy Sini and county court officials rolled out a new program Monday that will allow nonviolent drug offenders to avoid criminal charges if they successfully complete a 90-day treatment program.
The Comprehensive Addiction Recovery and Education Program, or C.A.R.E. Program, was designed by prosecutors, defense attorneys and court officials to give substance abusers new incentives to get help, Sini said.
Unlike the drug court, Sini said, the C.A.R.E. Program will permit defendants to enroll in treatment without entering a plea.
“In some cases, requiring the defendant to take a plea before accepting treatment has been a disincentive,” Sini said.
Sini said officials hope the C.A.R.E program will encourage more black and Latino drug defendants to seek treatment.
“We do believe the program will increase diversity and be more inclusive,” Sini said.