Report: 2016 Overdose Victims and the Criminal Justice SystemPosted: 09/14/2017
As part of its involvement in the Drug Related Death Task Force, the District Attorney’s Office has analyzed hundreds of cases looking for overdose victims with previous interaction with the criminal justice system. Because of the high number of individuals who fatally overdosed who had recent contact with the court system, the analysis suggests that opportunities for intervention exist in many cases and that such intervention could save lives.
The Drug Related Task Force is a multi-agency investigation and prosecution team who examines overdoses that occur in Knox County as a means to combat the opiate epidemic. Founded under the direction of the Appalachia High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (AHIDTA), the task force consists of the Knox County District Attorney General’s Office, Knoxville Police Department, Knox County Sheriff’s Office, Tennessee Bureau of Investigation, Drug Enforcement Administration, and Knox County Regional Forensic Center. The goal of the task force is to decrease overdoses by holding drug dealers accountable when their drug trafficking leads to overdose deaths. The task force also gains intelligence about the opiate epidemic that can be used by member agencies and others across the country to fight this increasing problem.