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June 26, 2023

MAT in Rural Jails Episode 5: A Jail Administrator’s Perspective

Welcome to the Comprehensive Opioid, Stimulant, and Substance Use Program (COSSUP) podcast series featuring conversations with guests about medication-assisted treatment (MAT) in rural jails. This series offers listeners an opportunity to learn from individuals who are involved in providing MAT and recovery support within rural jails. Each of the five podcasts offers a unique perspective based on the role of the guest: a jail medical staff administrator, a peer specialist, a community-based medical provider, an MAT program coordinator, and a jail administrator. They share their lessons learned and experience addressing challenges commonly faced by jails and their partners when implementing MAT.

In 2019, St. Louis County, Minnesota, was one of 14 jurisdictions in the country selected to participate in the Building Bridges Between Jails and Community-based Treatment initiative, cofunded by the Bureau of Justice Assistance and Arnold Ventures, to promote implementation of medication-assisted treatment (MAT) in jails and enhance collaboration between jails and community-based treatment providers.

The St. Louis County Jail, in Duluth, is a 197-bed facility with an average daily population of 177 men and women, most of whom are being held as high-risk and pretrial. It serves the largest county, by both population and land mass, in Minnesota.

In this podcast, Jessica Pete, Jail Administrator of the St. Louis County Jail, discusses eliminating community and staff bias against MAT; gives advice on the “nuts and bolts” of program implementation, including cross-training medical and security staff; and shares how COVID-19 helped the jail move forward.

A transcript of this podcast is available.

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