Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2021, $1,126,988)
The Davidson County Sheriff’s Office is submitting this Category 1a proposal in response to BJA Grant Opportunity Number O-BJA-2021-94008 (C-BJA-2021-00092-PROD) to support a collaboration among the Davidson County Sheriff’s Office (DCSO) and three non-profit organizations (CrossBridge, The Family Center, and FreeHearts) in Davidson County, Tennessee, that have extensive histories serving incarcerated people and reentrants. The collaboration will be supported by research partners at NYU. The project will serve men with histories of substance use disorder (SUD) who are housed in DCSO facilities, during their period of incarceration and on reentry into the community. The Metro Nashville area has experienced a surge in overdoses over the last year, including fatal overdoses. Metro Nashville drug-surveillance data indicate that a sizable share of fatal overdoses involved polydrug use, mostly synthetic opioids and methamphetamine. The proposed project will improve DCSO’s capacity to screen for SUD in the county jail system and improve treatment and supportive services, including through peer mentorship, transitional housing post-release, and fostering family connections for incarcerated fathers. The project has three components: (1) Eligible men screened as in need of housing and support services will be offered the opportunity to release to Restoration House, where they will be provided with fully equipped apartments, intensive case management, recovery support, employment assistance, peer mentors, and medication monitoring. (2) To reduce the negative consequences of parental incarceration and the intergenerational cycle of SUD and incarceration, eligible fathers with histories of SUD who have eligible-age children will, with the support of counseling staff, have the opportunity to engage in structured and unstructured activities during weekly visits with their children. These visits will occur in the community, under a new program to be created under this award called Father’s Day Out. Father’s Day Out will be modeled after a similar program we successfully developed for our incarcerated mothers. (3) To address the uptick in overdose deaths among youth under the age of 18, DCSO will partner with Metro Nashville Public Schools to deliver evidence-based educational programming on dealing with stressful situations and on SUD and overdose-risk avoidance in five zip codes in Metro Nashville that account for a large share of overdoses. Project deliverables include documented improvements in DCSO SUD screening processes, documented participation in programming provided under this award, a manual standardizing the components of the Father’s Day Out program, process evaluations of our programming components, and reports on outcomes of program participants.