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Mecklenburg County, North Carolina

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Mecklenburg County Criminal Justice Services (CJS) has launched the Mecklenburg Opioid Systemic Response Plan, a comprehensive cross-system response to the opioid epidemic’s impact on the Charlotte-Mecklenburg County region. Project services include improved screening and identification of opioid users in the jail and enhanced opioid treatment services within the jail-based substance abuse treatment program and the drug treatment court program. To ensure and enhance continuity of care for individuals reentering the community, the program includes a full-time peer support specialist to initiate work with clients prior to release and up to 6 months post release. The project will also implement targeted medication-assisted treatment (MAT) for two groups: (1) incarcerated individuals prior to release and during their transition to community-based treatment and (2) individuals participating in the drug treatment court whose inability to access or afford MAT limits their recovery and progress in court. CJS’s research partner, the University of North Carolina at Charlotte (UNCC), works in tandem with CJS’s Research & Planning division to conduct both process and outcome evaluations as well as performance measurement data collection.