A Closer Look: the Angel Initiative
A 2004 report from the Bureau of Justice Statistics in Drug Use and Dependence in State and Federal Prisoners stated that half the inmates in Federal prisons are there for drug charges and nearly half of all prisoners in state prisons are locked up for non-violent offenses. Additionally, 17% of state and 18% of federal prisoners committed their crime to obtain money for drugs.
In light of this data, the Governor’s Office recognized substance abuse as a priority for the state, and committed to widening avenues to prevention, treatment and recovery resources to all of Arizona’s communities. The Governor’s Council on Child Safety and Family Empowerment, was formed and is chaired by Mrs. Ducey to create initiatives that help Arizona’s residents find help instead of jail over substance abuse related issues. One of its initiatives is The Angel Initiative.
The Angel Initiative allows citizens to walk into a police precinct, turn in their drugs and request treatment without fear of prosecution. Additionally, the Angel Initiative helps individuals with children find a secure safe placement for their kids instead of placing them in the foster care system while they are in treatment.
Building Blocks Counseling works with many different populations, including individuals involved in with the justice system. Recently, BBCAZ was invited to sign on to the Angel Initiative, to provide mental health and addiction treatment services for the people who choose treatment rather than jail. Being dedicated to finding solutions for young offenders that build on personal accountability, managing emotions, finding pro-social alternatives, and increasing a sense of community, working on the Angel Initiative is another way to help people find the support they need.