Jails in the US admit more than 10.9 Million inmates per year, a portion of whom suffer from some form of substance abuse disorder. Jails are now a part of public health and while it is not the original intent of the incarceration system, this evolution is the present reality. Since the correctional system just evolved into playing a critical health care role, policies and guidelines aren’t as clear-cut initially. This is what the Jail-Based Medication Assisted Treatment Promising Practices, Guidelines, and Resources for the Field hopes to address. Through evidence-based approach, recommendations on best practices, policies, and resources are shared to standardize how jail-based medication-assisted treatment is being conducted.
Today’s speakers come from different fields who imparted their expertise and collaborated towards the fruition of the Jail-Based MAT Promising Practices, Guidelines, and Resources for the Field. They took turns to share the role they played in the success of its creation and implementation and other critical components of the initiative.
- Stephen Amos, who served as the project coach, provided an overview of the role the National Institute of Corrections (NIC) played, and the considerations they took into account when developing the initiative.
- Ruby Qazilbash from the Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA), who co-chaired the initiative detailed on the collaboration that transpired between various agencies and fields to establish the Residential Substance Abuse Treatment Program.
- Dr. Brent Gibson, the Chief Health Officer for the National Commission on Correctional Health Care (NCCHC) discussed:
- The factors considered in client enrollment to a jail-based MAT program, medication dosage and length of treatment.
- The significance of counseling and wraparound services to complement with the jail-based MAT and MAT services offered to pregnant women.
- MAT program components that highlight the importance of training, safeguards, inter-agency and community collaboration, and the continuity of care programs outside the jail setting.
- The proper way of screening MAT clients and maximizing Medicaid for MAT purposes.
- Jessica Vanderpool from the National Sheriffs Association (NSA) informed the audience on:
- The ongoing MAT in Jails Survey that aims to assess the needs of jails across the country to effectively implement and provide MAT.
- How the results of the survey will be used to create a Compendium of MAT Programs document to supplement the Promising Practices, Guidelines, and Resources for the Field.
- Sheriff Peter Koutoujian from Middlesex County in Massachusetts detailed on:
- The Criminal Justice Reform Bill that mandates jails to provide MAT across Massachusetts.
- The medication and program participation of the counties included in the four-year pilot.
- Conditions related to treatment and the reporting required to be submitted to the Department of Public Health.
- Points to consider when implementing a jail-based MAT program.
- Carrie Hill from the NSA discussed litigation challenges and provided case studies that provide guidelines on MAT implementation relating to the 8th Amendment (Cruel and Unusual Punishment clause) and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).
- Jennie Simpson from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) shared the resources produced by SAMHSA to enhance the Promising Practices, Guidelines and Resources for the Field and implement a successful jail-based MAT.
- Tara Tunkel from the BJA provided specifics on funding grants and applying for financial funding for jail-based MAT initiatives.
- Questions raised during the Q&A portion are about:
- Working with appropriate federal agencies and jails to provide methadone treatment.
- The specifics of treatment for pregnant women.
- Including all forms of MAT as a best practice.
- Conducting drug screening without having the results used in court.
Resources Mentioned During Webinar: