Six months into operation, the city’s drug impact area program has excluded 240 defendants from the city’s downtown and inner eastside neighborhoods — nearly one in four of all arrests for heroin, cocaine and marijuana in the county during that period.
The $250,000 program, implemented in June, allows the courts to exclude people from three geographical areas for up to two years, based upon their conviction. The three DIAs – assigned for heroin, cocaine and marijuana convictions – largely overlap covering the Downtown, Old Town, and Holladay Park neighborhoods.
The period ended in November, and the city released the report just this month.
“When you look at the amount of crime and the types of crime — it’s working,” said Billy Prince, DIA prosecutor with the Multnomah County District Attorney’s office. Prince was speaking today to members of the Old Town/Chinatown Livability Committee, which led the cry last year to bring back exclusions to the neighborhood.
Altogether, the report references 1,064 arrests involving heroin, cocaine and marijuana throughout the county – 824 of them outside of the three DIAs. Regardless of where the arrest took place, a convicted offender could be excluded from one or all of the three areas downtown.