About us PAge

Our Approach

We believe the key is to stop investing in arresting people for substance use and start investing in helping those in need. We support recovery without arrest or coercion. You could say our motto is "Stop Arresting Start Helping". Arrest causes trauma and further stigmatizes those most in need of help. We call for funding for recovery for those who want help. There are close to 90,000 adults and adolescents who can not get the treatment they need, but we always seem to be able to find funding to arrest them. Just like we wouldn't arrest someone for having cancer we shouldn't arrest people with the disease of addiction. This county's war on drugs is really a war on people.

Our Story

Families are constantly torn apart by costly drug laws that do not deter or reduce drug use yet incarcerate people on a daily basis. Meanwhile those who ask for help can not find it making crisis all the more likely. We started Help Not Handcuffs to spread a different paradigm. Only through aid can we impact drug use, not through brutal coercion.


Our Leadership

Help Not Hancuffs Inc. Is a Registered 501(c)3


Randy Thompson

Chief Executive Officer

Randy has worked in public policy as an advocate on issues relating to people with Developmental Disabilities, housing, mental health and substance use. Most recently as part of the effort to reform the Global Drug Conventions has testified at the United Nations in favor of fact based legalization, regulation and harm reduction approaches to drug policy.

In New Jersey, Randy has played a role in several significant pieces of legislation and policy measures including institutional closure, pejorative language laws and extending parity for mental health and substance use treatment in the state funded health plans.

Locally, in the City of Asbury Park he organized the grassroots effort to ensure proper implementation of the Overdose Prevention Act in Monmouth County, particularly emergency responders carrying Naloxone/Narcan. This advocacy success resulted in an accelerated role-out of the program, which meant saving lives sooner than later.

Randy is a survivor of police torture and also violent assault inside a drug treatment facility. He is the Founder of Help Not Handcuffs, which seeks to remove arrest and coercion from the treatment of people with substance use disorders and from broader drug policy.

Advocacy, appearances and interviews have taken place at the following media and governmental bodies: The United Nations, ESPN Radio, Q104.3 WRNJ, News 12, Monmouth University, The State Of New Jersey, The State University of Rutgers.

Voted Audiences Favorite Speaker!
The New Faces of Heroin and Opiate Addiction: Addressing the Problem and
Seeking Solutions – 2014


Laura T Jannone


Advisory Board

Associate Professor, Graduate Faculty, Coordinator of the School Nurse Program
Nursing & Health Studies Monmouth University

Laura Jannone has been a  nurse since 1976 in many settings, her last speciality was school nursing in a school for special need students, a high school, and a grammar school. She opened the school nurse  program at Monmouth University in 2000. She finished her doctorate in nursing education at Teachers College, Columbia University in 2006.She conducted her research in smoking cessation She has taught Substance Abuse classes  at Monmouth University since 2000. She is on Executive Board of several organizations including the NJ State School Nurse Association,  Monmouth County School Nurses Association and  NJ & National School Nurse Educator Consortium.She has participated in Medical Missions to Haiti with her students.

Recipient of the NJ State School Nurses Association (NJSSNA) Excellence in School Nurse Leadership Award, March, 2013

Fellow of the National Association of School Nursing (NASN) June, 2012

Outstanding School Nurse Educator Award, National Association of School Nursing (NASN),June 2012

Recipient of the 2010 Nurse Recognition Award presented by the NJ League of Nursing, November 5, 2010

Brian Powers Press Badge Headshot

Brian Powers

New Jersey Revolution Radio

Advisory Board

Starting as a union organizer and shop steward with IBEW Local 827. Brian has been involved with union labor and social justice causes for over 15 years.  Brian helped plan actions during strikes and represented workers in contractual disputes. He graduated from several Rutgers Labor Union study programs including the Rutgers Union Leadership Academy in 2011 and the Public- Sector Labor Relations Course in 2016.

Brian co-founded 15 Now New Jersey and united a coalition of activist organizations through a combination of grassroots and new- technologies methods. His organizing efforts in New Jersey are felt around the activist community statewide.

In 2018 founded and co-owns New Jersey Revolution Radio, an independent media news source focused on New Jersey Art and Activism. The current network includes podcasts, Youtube, Facebook videos other media. #NJRR covers events and protests as well as authors, artists, and more.   He currently resides in Woodbridge NJ, with his wife Nicole and 5 sons.

Help Not Handcuffs

Help Not Handcuffs

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