Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2021, $900,000)
This grant will ensure the continuation of the Helping Hands program, originally funded after implementation in 2017 by the $1.2 million FICM award and then expanded in 2018 with the $1.2 million ROOTS award. Helping Hands has the capacity to expand and improve on treatment services for people with substance use disorders during incarceration and facilitate the successful reintegration of individuals returning to communities after a prison or jail sentence. By using structured treatment plans in coordination with our Case Managers, Peer Recovery Support Specialists, and Community Paramedics, this program will seek to reduce crime and recidivism among people leaving incarceration as well as enhance public safety.
Beginning in July of 2019, the Florida Alcohol and Drug Abuse Association (FADAA) received funding from the Department of Children and Families (DCF) to support the training of corrections professionals on the use of Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT). MAT is the use of FDA-approved medications, in combination with counseling and behavioral therapies, to provide a “whole-patient” approach to the treatment of substance use disorders. FADAA is currently developing and identifying materials to support the expansion of the use of MAT in correction settings in Florida and providing training opportunities across the state.
The county jail is currently only providing MAT services to pregnant women but would appreciate grant funding to support program access to everyone interested in recovery. Chief Allen confirmed that the need is present, and many people could benefit from this program, with an end goal of reducing jail recidivism. The Second Chance Act grant lends the opportunity to fund this crucial service.
MAT services can easily be integrated into the current Helping Hands program, where we identify and serve inmates with behavioral health needs. We currently receive weekly lists of all jail inmates with both 2 previous arrests and an active prescription to psychotropic medication. Those eligible for programming are discussed at weekly staff/team meetings and then join jail support groups upon approval. After engaging in groups, participants meet with their behavioral healthcare team including Peer Recovery Support Specialists, Community Paramedics, and Case Managers to identify a treatment plan for personal success. Program participants in jail will be referred to Tri-County Human Services or DACCO to continue their recovery services upon release.