District Attorney Allen Releases 2021 Fatal Overdose Victims and the Criminal Justice System Report

At the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, we quickly began to see a turn for the worse in the number of lives lost to overdose deaths. As outlined in last year’s report, our community did see the number drop in recent years; however, we were not prepared for the impact of a global pandemic.

As the number of lives lost increased, we continued to add tools to our toolbelt to fight overdose. We know working together as a community works. We have also continued to partner with community agencies to gather and analyze data to implement effective prevention and intervention initiatives for individuals facing addiction to increase community safety and reduce overdose deaths.

One notable advancement is the creation of the Overdose Fatality Review Team. The OFRT is a multidisciplinary team that reviews overdose deaths to effectively identify system gaps and innovative, community-specific overdose prevention and intervention strategies. The OFRT uses data collected by the Drug Related Death Task Force and Knox County District Attorney General’s Office.

The charge of the District Attorney General’s Office is to pursue the guilty and protect the innocent. Our concerted effort to reduce the number of drug overdoses and stop traffickers from supplying dangerous drugs in our community helps accomplish this two-tiered mission. The 2021 Fatal Overdose Victims & The Criminal Justice System Report continues my effort to provide data which outlines the interaction between the criminal justice system and individuals who passed away due to a drug overdose. My office uses this data to identify possible intervention points to fight against substance misuse in our community from all angles. I hope Knox County leadership and service agencies will continue to use this report in the fight to eradicate drug misuse and overdose in our community.

To view a copy of the report, click HERE.

Charme P. Allen
District Attorney General
6th Judicial District