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June 26, 2023

MAT in Rural Jails Episode 1: A Jail Medical Staff 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.

The Albany County Correctional and Rehabilitative Services Center (ACCRSC) was one of the first correctional facilities in upstate New York to offer all three U.S. Food and Drug Administration-approved medications for treating opioid use disorder. An outside provider administers, in a typical year, methadone, buprenorphine, or naltrexone to 300 individuals who are in custody at ACCRSC.

All individuals who have or are at risk for opioid use disorder, regardless of custody status, are offered medication-assisted treatment (MAT) services. The daily population of the jail averages 383 individuals in pretrial status and 48 individuals who are sentenced. Length of stay for the former is just shy of 40 days; for the latter, 11 days. ACCRSC primarily serves suburban and rural areas.

In this podcast, Jill Harrington, Health Services Administrator at ACCRSC, shares what makes the program successful, the impact of legislation passed in New York State in 2021, the role of partnerships, and the importance of credentialed alcoholism and substance use counselors.

For more information on ACCRSC’s program, go to MAT: Making a Difference in Upstate New York in Catching Up with COSSUP.

A transcript of this podcast is available.

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