“It’s your lucky day,” Lt. Matthew Cline said. “Hopefully you make the most of it.”
That is what a Chicago police lieutenant said to a group of six people offered the chance to bypass jail time and be placed into a treatment facility at a Nov. 21 narcotics roundup that resulted in 38 arrests. After being interrogated about potential knowledge of neighborhood shootings and gang activity, the group was placed on a bus and allowed to enter a detox facility and go on about their lives.
“If you don’t like what they’re offering you when you get there, you’re free to go,” Cline explained to the group. “It’s up to you.”
The treatment has proven effective, according to Gabriela Zapata-Alma who works at one of the chosen facilities, stating that many of the 16 previous candidates were able to get full-time jobs or go back and attend school.