Health Lab, Crime Lab Westside Narcotics Diversion and Treatment Initiative

Police officers and criminal justice leaders on Chicago’s West Side have long known that some of the people they see on the streets and in the courts are addicted to narcotics, and are buying drugs or even selling them to support their addiction.

A research collaboration between the Crime Lab and Health Lab, the Westside Narcotics Diversion and Treatment Initiative is an effort to pilot and evaluate a new diversion and treatment program in Chicago police districts 10, 11, and 15.

Partnering on this work are the Chicago Police Department (CPD), the Chicago High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area, and three service providers (Heartland Health Outreach, Thresholds, and Haymarket Center). Under CPD’s current Westside Complex Narcotics Initiative, undercover officers conduct two- to four-week investigations to identify individuals involved in drug trafficking. Instead of arrest and prosecution, eligible individuals will have the opportunity to engage in treatment for narcotics addiction with select service providers.

The Health & Crime Labs are providing design, implementation, and evaluation support.