Alabama to use $1.5M from opioid settlement on specialty courts
MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WSFA) - The first of several distributions has been made from Alabama’s opioid crisis settlement with drug maker McKinsey & Company, according to Attorney General Steve Marshall’s office.
Marshall met Monday with the Office of Prosecution Services and officers from the Alabama District Attorneys Association, which he awarded $1.5 million. That money will be invested into the state’s specialty courts, which include drug courts, veterans’ courts, and mental health courts.
Drug courts have long been identified as an effective means of treating offenders driven to crime by a substance use disorder, with the goal of ultimately closing the revolving door of incarceration, the AG’s office said.
“Investing in Alabama’s drug courts is directly responsive to the needs of individuals struggling with opioid addiction, but also to the significant strain that the opioid epidemic has placed on our District Attorneys’ offices and court systems across the state,” Marshall said.
“I appreciate the Attorney General’s acknowledgement of the burden that the opioid crisis has placed on prosecutorial offices, which is so often overlooked,” added District Attorney Michael Jackson, President of the District Attorneys Association. “Drug courts and pretrial diversion programs are an extremely valuable tool—not only can this type of intervention save the lives of addicted offenders, but these programs also help decrease victimization within communities.”
Alabama sued McKinsey, alleging it contributed to the opioid crisis by promoting marketing schemes and consulting services to opioid manufacturers, including OxyContin maker Purdue Pharma.
The state’s settlement with McKinsey, the first multistate opioid settlement to result in substantial payment to the states to address the crisis, totals $9 million. About $7.6 million is being paid this year. The AG’s office said it will release details on two other distributions from the McKinsey settlement within the week.
Alabama is set for trial against other companies, including Endo Pharmaceuticals and McKesson Corporation, and has pending claims against opioid manufacturers Purdue Pharma, Mallinckrodt, and Insys in each of their respective bankruptcy cases.
Copyright 2021 WSFA 12 News. All rights reserved.