Chicago Police DepartmentSpecial Order S02-04-07
Chicago Recovery Alliance Needle Exchange Program
Issue Date:01 August 2011Effective Date:01 August 2011
Rescinds:20 November 2001 version; D01-49
Index Category:Human Rights and Community Partnerships
This directive:
  • A.describes the Chicago Recovery Alliance Research Program (CRA).
  • B.identifies the  Chicago Recovery Alliance Needle Exchange Program website.
    (Item I-B revised, 1 August 2011)
  • C.provides members with an example of the program participant identification card and the key for identifying and interpreting the program participant identification number as Attachments No. 1 and 2 of this directive.
    (Item I-C revised, 1 August 2011)
  • D.cites the provision of Chapter 720, Illinois Compiled Statutes (ILCS) relative to the Chicago Recovery Alliance Research Program.
II.The Chicago Recovery Alliance Research Program
  • A.The Chicago Recovery Alliance Research Program, in cooperation with the University of Illinois School of Public Health, has been established to allow addicted individuals to exchange contaminated hypodermic syringes for sterile ones. The program also provides counseling, drug addiction treatment, HIV testing, and other healthcare services.
  • B.The CRA Research Program evaluates the public health effects of harm reduction with individuals with drug addiction and those living with HIV.
III.The Chicago Recovery Alliance Needle Exchange Program
  • A.The  Chicago Recovery Alliance Needle Exchange Program operates at various sites out of a CRA designated motorized vehicle having program identification markings. Field personnel may encounter participants city-wide. Further program and site location information can be found on the CRA website.
    (Item III-A revised, 1 August 2011)
  • B.(Item III-B deleted, 1 August 2011)
  • C.Program participants are issued identification cards (Attachment 1) which bear a unique number for each participant. The key (Attachment 2) can be used to determine if the card belongs to the holder.
    (Item III-C revised, 1 August 2011)
IV.Legal Exemptions
  • A.As the law creates an exemption for persons participating in a research program, the CRA and program participants have been granted an exemption to the provisions of Chapter 720 ILCS 635/1, Illegal Possession of Hypodermic Instruments. Chapter 720 states:
    “No person, not being... a person engaged in chemical, clinical, pharmaceutical or other scientific research, shall have in his possession a hypodermic syringe, hypodermic needle, or any instrument adapted for the use of controlled substances or cannabis by subcutaneous injection.”
  • B.Field personnel will not arrest program participants for possession of hypodermic syringes.
  • C.Department members are prohibited from using program participation as probable cause to stop, search, or arrest those exchanging syringes or operating at distribution sites.
    720 Illinois Compiled Statutes (ILCS) 635/1(b), effective 25 July 2003, allows a person who is at least 18 years of age to purchase from a pharmacy and have in his or her possession up to 20 hypodermic syringes or needles. The above exemption allows CRA program participants to possess 21 or more hypodermic syringes or needles.
    (Item IV-C-Note added, 1 August 2011)
  • The Chicago Recovery Alliance Needle Exchange Program participant identification card
  • The Chicago Recovery Alliance Needle Exchange Program key to matching the seven character participant identification card number
(Items V-A and B added, 1 August 2011)
Authenticated by: RMJ
Garry F. McCarthy
Superintendent of Police
11-105 TRH
Chicago Recovery Alliance
Chicago Recovery Alliance