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Pilot Treatment Program Showing Promising Results For Nonviolent Drug Users

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SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — Promising results are emerging from a pioneering drug treatment program in New Mexico in which police refer nonviolent drug users prior to arrest into comprehensive counseling and services.

An evaluation of a pilot program in Santa Fe was published Thursday that shows an initial decrease in the number of arrests among drug users diverted into the treatment program.

In 2014, New Mexico's state capital became the second city after Seattle to implement a trademark police-assisted diversion program for drug users that has spread to 18 jurisdictions.

The study by the New Mexico Sentencing Commission finds a decrease in criminal recidivism during the first six months, though those benefits do not persist over time. It compares 76 treatment referral cases with similarly situated people entering the criminal justice system.