Residents in Peoria, Ill., recently got the chance to confront alleged drug dealers about how they are negatively impacting the community, the Peoria Journal Star reported Nov. 4.
As part of the Drug Market Intervention program, police and prosecutors reviewed crime statistics to identify which parts of the city are a hotbed for drug activity and violence. Police then tracked alleged local drug dealers for months and arrested more than two dozen ahead of a special community meeting.
Offenders with extensive criminal backgrounds were charged with felonies, but a handful of offenders who didn't have long records were required to go to the special meeting to hear from neighborhood residents, in the hope that the feedback or shaming would prevent them from continuing down the path of crime.
The offenders who participated in the meetings were told their cases were on hold and were allowed to walk away without being charged as long as they don't get in trouble over the next three years.
The Drug Market Interventions concept was first used in North Carolina and has been replicated in other states across the country over the last five years.