By David Madden
LAUREL SPRINGS, N.J. (CBS) — One South Jersey town is taking on a unique approach to dealing with drug-related petty crime.READ MORE: Nicholas Bednarek Identified As Man Killed In Cheltenham Crash That Injured 4 Other Teens
Drug treatment is routinely offered to those facing a Superior Court judge in New Jersey. But on the municipal level, that hasn’t been the case until now.
“The absence of such a drug court program in Municipal Court leaves defendants, family members of those suffering from addiction, and even Municipal Court officials with few options regarding treatment or assistance,” notes Gloucester Township police chief Harry Earle.READ MORE: Police Believe Suburban Philadelphia Homes Being Targeted By Organized Theft Ring: 'You Don't Think Of It Happening Here'
Now, a private drug advocate will be available at Municipal Court hearings to steer defendants in the direction of treatment, if they want it.
New Jersey’s state courts have not endorsed this program, but officials here expect it to be a model for other towns to adopt.
The goal is to get an addict the help he or she needs before their habit puts them in jail. Or worse.MORE NEWS: Hyram Hill, Son Of Philadelphia Police Officer, Killed In Targeted Shooting In North Philly, Sources Say