The state is providing $7.8 million to expand a program providing medication-assisted opioid treatment to inmates housed in county jails and upon their release.
The funding was announced Thursday by Human Services Commissioner Carole Johnson, acting Corrections Commissioner Marcus Hicks and acting Health Commissioner Judith Persichilli.
The initiative’s pilot program was a collaboration between the Atlantic County jail and the John Brooks Recovery Center. The program provides medication-assisted treatment for inmates and connects them to similar treatment after their release.
The new funding will expand that initiative and create “critical community partnerships” that ensure treatment continues after inmates leave jail, according to a news release from the state Department of Human Services.
“Individuals leaving jail are particularly vulnerable to opioid overdose, and the death rate post-release from jail is significantly higher than in the overall population,” Johnson said in the statement. “It is imperative that we treat people with opioid use disorder with the clinical standard of care before they are released and maintain treatment post-release.”