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Drug Arrest Diversion Webinar

 Image from 2017 CJI Drug Arrest Diversion Grantee,  First of All, I'm a Person: Humanizing Stories of Drug Use

Join CJI for a webinar exploring innovative approaches to Drug Arrest Diversion.
Friday, March 30th, 2018
2–3pm Eastern time

Register Now!

Learn more about the context giving rise to diversion efforts, and alternatives to drug-related incarceration that treat instead of punish.  Topics covered will include:

  • The history of the opioid epidemic
  • Organizing efforts of drug user unions
  • Harm reduction
  • Non-coercive methods
  • Community-specific planning



Featured Speakers:

Deborah Peterson Small of Break the Chains: Communities of Color and the War on Drugs
Kiefer Paterson of the Harm Reduction Coalition
Monica Jones of The Outlaw Project
Keith Brown of the Katal Center for Health, Equity, and Justice
Tina Reynolds of Women on the Rise Telling HerStory (WORTH)

Register at:


Deborah Peterson Small is the Executive Director of Break the Chains, an advocacy organization committed to addressing the disproportionate impact of punitive drug policies on poor communities of color. Break the Chains was founded in the belief that community activism and advocacy is an essential component of progressive policy reform. Break the Chains works to engage families and community leaders in promoting alternatives to the failed “war on drugs” by adopting public health approaches to substance abuse and drug-related crimes. Break the Chains is an advocate and voice for those affected most by drug policies but too often unheard in policy debates and decisions.

Kiefer Paterson comes to his work as Harm Reduction Coalition’s Government Relations Manager following a decade of community organizing and direct service experience.  In his role at Harm Reduction Coalition, Kiefer works to support harm reduction policy and advocacy at the federal, state, and local levels, with a special emphasis on the implementation of federal funding for syringe services programs. He is deeply interested in the intersections of HIV, HCV, racial and economic justice, homelessness and housing instability, and LGBTQ identity, and strongly believes that service providers, community groups, and people with lived experience are key stakeholders in any truly representative policy work.

Monica Jones is a Black transgender advocate who also advocates for the rights of sex workers and low income women of color. She holds a degree is social work from Arizona State University. She has advocated at the United Nations in Geneva and New York, has presented at International AIDS Conferences in Australia and South Africa, and has been a keynote speaker at numerous events including the Desiree Alliance Conference in 2016. She is the founder of The Outlaw Project, an organization based on the principles of intersectionality to prioritize the leadership of people of color, transgender women, gender non-binary and migrants for sex worker rights.

Keith Brown is the Director of Health and Harm Reduction for the Katal Center for Health, Equity and Justice. He joined Katal in May 2016 as Project Director of the Albany Law Enforcement Assisted Diversion (LEAD) initiative in Albany, NY. As the Director of Health and Harm Reduction, he serves as a Medicaid, public health, case management, and harm reduction expert, assisting municipalities through the country in developing strategies addressing public health and public safety.

Tina Reynolds is Co-Founder and Chair of Women on the Rise Telling HerStory (WORTH). WORTH is an association of formerly and currently incarcerated women who have been empowered by their own experiences while involved in the criminal justice system and beyond. Through mutual support, leadership development, organizing and telling our stories, WORTH transforms the lives of women who have been directly impacted by incarceration and changes public perception and policy. Reynolds has received a Master in Social Work from Hunter College. She is currently an adjunct professor at York, CUNY in the Psychology Department teaching the “Impact of Incarceration on Families, Communities and Children”. She has published pieces on the abolition of prisons, the impact of incarceration on women and children, formerly incarcerated women and policy change and is an editor of an anthology “Interrupted Life: Experiences of Incarcerated Women in the United States”.

Additional Resources on Drug User Unions, Organizing, and Peer Networks:

MANIFESTO for a Drug User Liberation Movement
The Vancouver Declaration
Nothing About Us Without Us: A Manifesto By People Who Use Illegal Drugs
We ARE the People: Drug User Organizing in the United State

Drug User Unions, Networks, & Collectives:

The Chosen Few
Injection Drug Users Health Alliance (IDUHA)
The International Network of People who Use Drugs (INPUD)
New England Drug Users Union
Oakland Drug Users Union
Philadelphia Drug Users Union
Seattle People’s Harm Reduction Alliance
San Francisco Drug Users Union 
United States Alliance of Drug User Unions (USADUU)
Urban Survivors Union
Vancouver Area Network of Drug Users (VANDU)

Information on the Albany LEAD program

Later Event: September 13
2018 FICPFM Conference