The Madison Addiction Recovery Initiative (MARI) was a Grant funded program that ran from 2017 to 2020 at the Madison Police Department. The goal of the program was pre-arrest diversion, which means that we deflected people with eligible charges that are suffering from addiction away from the criminal justice system and towards the treatment community. Candidates were eligible to participate in MARI if they were facing low-level, non-violent charges such as drug possession, possession of drug paraphernalia, theft, theft from auto, and prostitution.
Over 300 people were offered the opportunity to participate in treatment in lieu of being charged with a crime or forfeiture.
In September 2020 the Madison Police launched another grant to build upon the successes of MARI. The new grant, Pathways to Recovery, is also scheduled for 3 years and will expand on MARI by providing more outreach and other services to those suffering from addiction.
The following article focusses on law enforcement and first responder diversion programs, with MARI being showcased under Case Study #5: