91.7 Ann Arbor/Detroit 104.1 Grand Rapids 91.3 Port Huron 89.7 Lansing 91.1 Flint
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Instead of jail, “Hope Not Handcuffs” gets people into addiction treatment

Person in gray hoodie with one hand cuffed and the other cuff hanging open in front of a cloudy sky
"It's a cycle that cannot be broken without help," Davis said about those struggling with addiction.

Think of someone with cancer, or hypertension, or diabetes.

Imagine hauling a person with cancer or diabetes before a judge, and charging him with a crime for having that disease? Obviously not, but that's what's happening to people in the grips of the disease of addiction. 

A program called Hope Not Handcuffs is trying to change that paradigm by working with police agencies and the courts. 

It was started by the group Families Against Narcotics (FAN), and it's gaining ground in Michigan.

Judge Linda Davis sits on the bench of the 41-B District Court in Macomb County, and she is also the president of FAN. She joined Stateside to tell us about the project. 

"We know that having addiction is a disease," Davis said. "It is a chronic brain disease, and yet we oftentimes treat it as though it's some kind of a moral failing. And what we really are hoping to do with the Hope Not Handcuffs program is not only get people into treatment, but to begin to reduce the stigma of addiction."

Listen above to hear how the program places those that ask for help into treatment, how the group got every police department in Macomb County on board, and how she plans to see the program grow in the future.

Stateside podcast on iTunes, Google Play, or with this RSS link)

Stateside is produced daily by a dedicated group of producers and production assistants. Listen daily, on-air, at 3 and 8 p.m., or subscribe to the daily podcast wherever you like to listen.
Related Content