Camden County to mirror one town’s effort to battle opioid addiction through help in court

Project SAVE has been in business for four years now in Gloucester Township in its Municipal Court.

David Madden
October 20, 2018 - 9:26 am
Project Save

Dan Keashen, Camden County

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AUDUBON, NJ (KYW Newsradio) -- A one-year test program in Camden County will kick off with the new year, aimed at helping people with an addiction to opioids who wind up in the legal system. 
    
Project SAVE has been in business for four years now in Gloucester Township in its Municipal Court. 
    
Non-violent offenders with an addiction problem are offered help through experts that staff hearings, regardless of whether the suspect has health insurance. Get cleaned up and the judge can amend or drop the charges. 
    
“We took a look at the Gloucester Township program,” Camden County Freeholder Director Lou Cappelli told KYW Newsradio. “We’re absolutely convinced that it’s successful and we are going to start a pilot program in Camden County for municipalities that want to participate.”

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Gloucester Township’s program was the first in a municipality in New Jersey, and the effort in Camden County will also be a first in the state for a county.
    
So far, 17 additional municipal courts have signed on. 
    
“We want to see what the actual costs will be, how many people participate, how successful we can be on a countywide basis,” Cappelli added, “and then we’ll re-evaluate next year and see we go moving forward.”
    
$100,000 is being set aside to get things going, with a pledge to find whatever more is needed to give this a full year’s run. Plans are to expand the program, assuming the success in Gloucester Township can be repeated.