Daily Court Reporter - News Lawmakers propose pilot program to treat opioid offenders in Ohio
Lawmakers propose pilot program to treat opioid offenders in Ohio
KEITH ARNOLD, Daily Reporter Staff Writer
A bill seeking to establish a pilot program for the treatment of Ohio opioid offenders was referred to the Criminal Justice Committee in the Ohio House of Representatives recently.
Republican Reps. Stephen Huffman and Andrew Brenner of Tipp City and Powell, respectively, introduced the measure earlier this month that would create a "long-acting opioid antagonist therapy" for certain offenders convicted of an opioid-related offense.
House Bill 117 would apply to offenders to be discharged on supervised release, while in the state's custody and through the duration of the supervised release.
The program would begin July 1, 2018 and operate through, at least, Dec. 31, 2020, per the terms of the bill.
Courts will make the determination at sentencing, according to HB 117, that either scenario applies:
The offense relates to, or was committed as a result of, the offender's addiction to an opiate or opioid; or
The offender's addiction to an opiate or opioid was a factor leading to the offender's commission of the offense.
Offenders selected for participation would be informed of the determination and the benefits available to them. Each individual may accept or decline participation in the program.
The bill requires local Alcohol Drug Addiction Mental Health boards to develop a procedure for providing long-acting opioid antagonist therapy to program participants and who reside in the territory served by the board, the bill detailed.
Failure to comply with the terms of the program would result in a violation of an offender's supervised release.
Bill and fiscal analysis of the bill are expected to be provided as the bill advances through committee hearings. At time of publication, it remained unclear how the program would be funded.
HB 117 is cosponsored by 11 fellow House members.
The offices of neither sponsoring lawmaker responded to an email requesting further details of the bill by press deadline.
Date Published: March 28, 2017