First Responders

In an effort to save lives, states have implemented laws to make it easier for first responders and the general public to obtain naloxone. Additionally, to encourage people to assist an individual who is or may be suffering an overdose, the majority of states also enacted laws which protect laypeople who administer naloxone, in good faith, in an emergency from civil and/or criminal liability. The Legislative Analysis and Public Policy Association (LAPPA) undertook an extensive research project to determine the current status of naloxone access laws throughout the United States, including the District of Columbia and all U.S. territories. As of August 2020, all 50 states and the District of Columbia have some form of a naloxone access law. ...

Research indicates that there is often a reluctance among those witnessing an overdose to summon emergency assistance from law enforcement or other first responders out of fear of arrest for drug possession or other charges. In an effort to reduce this fear and to encourage overdose witnesses to seek help, state policymakers developed Good Samaritan laws specific to drug overdoses. The purpose of these laws is to prioritize the overdose victim’s safety over arresting drug users by granting limited protection from criminal liability to persons seeking medical assistance and, in most cases, to the overdose victim. The Legislative Analysis and Public Policy Association (LAPPA) recently undertook an extensive research project to determine the current status of Good Samaritan fatal overdose prevention laws throughout the United States, including the District of Columbia and all U.S. territories....

The Law Enforcement and Other First Responder Deflection (Act), drafted in collaboration with the Police, Treatment, and Community Collaborative (PTACC), encourages the use and establishment of deflection programs on the state level. Specifically, the model act (1) authorizes law enforcement and other first responders to develop and implement collaborative deflection programs that provide proactive policing to assist individuals who are at risk; (2) offers pathways to treatment, recovery services, housing, medication for addiction treatment, whole family services, and other needed supports; (3) requires deflection programs to have certain threshold elements to be eligible to receive grant funding; and (4) requires agencies establishing deflection programs to develop comprehensive memoranda of understanding in conjunction with, and agreed to by, all deflection program partners....

LAPPA’s Model Expanded Access to Emergency Opioid Antagonists Act provides state officials with the means to increase the ability of their citizens to access and use life-saving emergency opioid antagonists. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that over 934,000 Americans died from a fatal overdose involving an opioid between 1999 and 2020. Opioid antagonists, such as naloxone, can be used during emergencies to reverse opioid overdoses and are effective in preventing fatal drug overdoses. This Act: (1) enables all citizens to access emergency opioid antagonists; (2) encourages citizens to obtain emergency opioid antagonists; (3) grants immunity to individuals who administer opioid antagonists; (4) requires physicians to co-prescribe an emergency opioid antagonist when prescribing an opioid to someone; (5) ensures that health insurance covers emergency opioid antagonists, like naloxone; (6) prohibits discriminatory life and health insurance practices related to the possession of emergency opioid antagonists; (7) provides increased access to opioid antagonists in educational institutions and correctional settings; (8) establishes a pilot program to increase bystander access to emergency opioid antagonists; and (9) promotes initiatives that educate citizens on the life-saving potential of emergency opioid antagonists....

All across the U.S. jails are filled with people who need medical care and social services, many of whom cycle in and out of jail without ever receiving the help they need. One emerging model to combat this problem is deflection, which seeks to prevent individuals who have low to moderate criminogenic risk, but significant unmet social, economic, and health needs, from entering the criminal justice system. The goal of deflection programs is to lessen the burden on the criminal justice system by connecting those individuals—before they enter the criminal justice system—to treatment and social services to which they might not otherwise have access. This document is designed to: (1) provide a singular resource for each jurisdiction’s deflection laws; (2) allow for a comparison of these laws between jurisdictions; and (3) identify and highlight interesting provisions....

LAPPA's Model Law Enforcement Event Deconfliction Act (the Act) is intended to implement procedures across the country to safeguard law enforcement from incidents of “friendly fire.” The Act requires that law enforcement personnel utilize event deconfliction software, which will notify them of any potential conflicts with other law enforcement activity in the same area, including service of arrest or search warrants, surveillance operations, or other high-risk or specialized law enforcement activities. The Act further requires that law enforcement personnel take positive action upon being notified by the event deconfliction system of a conflict and provides penalties for failure to take such action. The Act was drafted with the invaluable assistance of members of the law enforcement community. ...