Camden, N.J.-The Camden County Prosecutor’s Office is committed to community outreach promoting opioid awareness and the dangers of misuse. The Camden County Prosecutor’s Office works closely with our community stakeholders to connect those in need to substance abuse treatment.
“The Camden County Prosecutor’s Office remains committed to fighting the good fight in defeating the opioid epidemic, by raising awareness to assist those who struggle with addiction and need services. The Operation Helping Hand (OHH) initiative has proven to be an asset since 2018 and has aided Camden County residents in fighting the opioid epidemic. The Camden County Prosecutor’s Office has partnered with local law enforcement agencies, the Center for Family Services and the Volunteers of America Delaware Valley, to link individuals who suffer from substance abuse disorder to immediate on-scene assistance, access to treatment, and many onsite social services through the Camden County Prosecutor’s Office OHH Community IMPACT Series events. The Camden County Prosecutor’s Office looks forward to continuing to offer these Community IMPACT Series events and to explore additional ways to enhance this initiative to reach more people,” said Camden County Prosecutor Grace C. MacAulay.
In 2018, the New Jersey Attorney General’s Office created the office of the New Jersey Coordinator of Addiction Responses and Enforcement Strategies (NJ CARES), which is dedicated to fighting the opioid epidemic. Through NJ CARES the OPERATION HELPING HAND program was launched as one of the largest, statewide initiatives in opioid awareness and fighting the epidemic. The traditional model of OHH in Camden County was founded on an arrest-based model where law enforcement officers arrested users who purchased heroin or other narcotics in open-air drug markets and immediately offered to link those individuals to treatment. Since the Covid-19 pandemic, the OHH model has shifted to a more proactive approach through outreach and non-arrest means to link individuals with treatment and services. The Camden County Prosecutor’s Office has partnered with local police departments, the Center for Family Services and the Volunteers of America Delaware Valley to participate in 15 proactive outreach events in various locations in Camden County since 2018.
In January 2018, the Camden County Prosecutor’s Office and the Camden County Metro Police Department participated in the first OPERATION HELPING HAND event. Presently, at each Operation Helping Hand: Community IMPACT Series event, the Center for Family Services and the Volunteers of America Delaware Valley participate in these OHH events with a mobile outreach unit where individuals can receive immediate on-scene assistance and will be offered linkage to treatment and a variety of onsite social services, including:
- Linkage to mental health and substance abuse treatment
- Housing assistance
- Assistance obtaining identification
- Veterans services
- Medical treatment linkage
- Benefits assistance
- Reentry services
- Care management
Organizations looking to participate with Operation Helping Hand can contact the Community Outreach and Engagement Unit of the Camden County Prosecutor’s Office at email@example.com.