Report examines differences in law enforcement responses to opioid and crack epidemics

BY Michael Hill, Correspondent |

A soon-to-be released Asbury Park Press and USA TODAY report positions that the law enforcement responses to the modern opioid-heroin epidemic and the crack epidemic of the 80s and 90s have been inherently different.

NJTV News Correspondent Michael Hill sat down with Asbury Park Press writers Shannon Mullen and Austin Bogues, lead reporters on the year-long investigation.

“The marching orders of crack was to arrest. To lock them up. To put people away for long periods of time. To pile on a lot of extra penalties. It was very punitive,” said Mullen. “The response to opioids, and rightly so, has been more enlightened, more compassionate. More about giving people second chances and saving lives.”

The report will be published on USA Today Tuesday.