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mat and the criminal justice system

Expanding Access to MAT in County Criminal Justice Settings

Treating opioid use disorder (OUD) in jails and drug courts presents unique challenges. To address these challenges, DHCS funded the Expanding Access to MAT in County Criminal Justice Systems learning collaborative. In this collaborative, teams from 29 California counties (covering 81% of the population) are working to expand access to MAT in jails and drug courts, and to assure that ongoing treatment is accessible upon release. 

Cohort One of this 18-month program started in August 2018, and Cohort Two started in April 2019. The collaborative offers monthly coaching calls, four-day-long in-person learning sessions, technical assistance, access to experts in the field, and opportunities for counties to learn from each other as they work toward increasing access to at least two of the three FDA approved medications for OUD in their jails and drug courts. 

Additionally, every county is eligible to receive an implementation grant intended to fill gaps and expedite treatment, while sustainable funding is identified. Many of the counties are also currently inducting detainees on MAT during incarceration, or plan to by the end of the project.  All counties in Cohort Two are currently developing implementation plans to increase access to MAT in their jails and many have already begun.  In addition, jails and drug courts in both cohorts are increasing capacity for screening and assessment for OUD and assuring continuity of MAT and substance use disorder (SUD) behavioral therapies at release. 

This project is managed by Health Management Associates (HMA).

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