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Expand Jail-Based Treatment and Effective Reentry Programs

Provide access to evidence-based treatment in jails and prisons and support services upon reentry.

America’s jails and prisons are at the epicenter of illicit substance use and misuse. 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.

COSSUP supports activities that:

  • Implement or expand the capacity of jails and prisons to provide MAT and other evidence-based substance use and misuse treatment services and recovery supports.
  • Implement or expand reentry services to support the successful transition of individuals with substance use and co-occurring disorders from jail or prisons back to the community, including ensuring coordination and continuity of care with community-based treatment providers.
  • Implement or enhance access to jail or prison-based services for co-occurring mental disorders to ensure that a full continuum of treatment services is available for individuals with co-occurring substance use and mental disorders.

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Grantee Projects

Jefferson County Commission


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.
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Boulder County


Boulder County Community Justice Services will work with the project partners to develop diversion and policy-related programming across intercept points providing treatment and support for offenders with medium to high criminogenic risk who are facing opioid-related substance use disorder. We specifically seek to identify 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.
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Arizona Criminal Justice Commission


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.
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