America’s jails and prisons are at the epicenter of the opioid overdose crisis. Nationally, nearly one in five people entering local jails has an opioid use disorder (OUD), and some states estimate that a majority of their residents with OUDs pass through the doors of their jails each year. Many of these individuals also have co-occurring mental disorders. Universal screening for substance use and co-occurring disorders for persons entering jails and prisons, and assessment as indicated, is an opportunity to connect individuals to evidence-based treatment services while incarcerated and ensure continuity of care upon reentry to the community. Medication-assisted treatment (MAT)—the use of the FDA-approved medications buprenorphine, naltrexone, and methadone—is the standard of care for individuals with OUD. MAT has been demonstrated to reduce illicit drug use post-release and to lower recidivism rates. However, MAT access is limited in most communities and absent in many jails, resulting in a significant missed opportunity to provide treatment to individuals with OUD.
COAP supports activities that:
COAP grantees expanding jail-based treatment and effective reentry programs
The Jefferson County Commission will implement the Jefferson County Forensic Care Management Team, which will be colocated at the Jefferson County Jail. The project will expand the availability of peer recovery support services, both pre- and post-release. The University of Alabama at Birmingham Department of Psychiatry will serve as the research partner for this project.
Boulder County Community Justice Services will work with the project partners to develop diversion and policy-related programming across intercept points as alternatives to traditional prosecution for offenders with low criminogenic risk who are facing opioid-related charges, those with treatment needs who are residing in jail, or those reentering the community, with a focus across all interventions on those who are high system utilizers. The OMNI Institute will serve as the research partner for the proposed project.
The Arizona Criminal Justice Commission (ACJC) will use grant funds to hire a criminal justice treatment coordinator and bring together representatives from partner agencies and community service agencies to create and implement the Arizona Criminal Justice and Treatment Improvement Project. Since the grant provided to ACJC was a statewide planning grant, the focus of this project period will be developing and submitting an implementation grant to the Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA) in 2019 that promotes strategies to identify and provide treatment recovery support services to high-frequency utilizers of multiple systems who have a history of opioid misuse and expanding diversion and alternatives to incarceration programs. Partner agencies include the Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System, the Arizona High Intensity Drug Trafficking Areas (HIDTA), the Arizona Department of Health Services, the State Department of Corrections, the Department of Public Safety, the Attorney General’s Office, the Administrative Office of the Courts, county attorneys, county sheriffs, chiefs of police, and county and city administration. The Arizona COAP Project team submitted its implementation grant to BJA in June 2019 under category 2-C, requesting funds to implement new programs in six sites across Arizona and to enhance and evaluate existing programs.