Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2021, $600,000)
Mendocino County Behavioral Health and Recovery Services
Comprehensive Opioid, Stimulant and Substance Abuse Site-Based Program
Mendocino County Behavioral Health and Recovery Services (MCBHRS), in partnership with Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office (MCSO) and in collaboration with Mendocino Community Health Clinics (MCHC) and Mendocino Coast Clinics (MCC), propose to utilize COSSAP grant funding for the creation/expansion of “The Bridge Program.”
MCBHRS, in collaboration with MCSO, was awarded a Health Management Association (HMA) grant in 2018, called Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT) in Criminal Justice. A portion of this grant was used to begin MAT services within Mendocino County Jail, which did not exist at that time. MCSO utilizes their internal contracted medical care provider Naphcare, to administer MAT medication with the jail.
Our collaboration efforts resulted in the implementation of limited MAT services within the jail for the first time. MCSO agreed to continue clients on MAT when they were incarcerated and were already a part of a MAT program. MCSO also adopted buprenorphine “tapering” for those individuals entering the jail who were in withdrawal from opiates, which had not ever been done in our jail.
By the time the MAT services were up and running and gaining momentum, the COVID-19 pandemic struck, calling for an immediate response. Although this took a major toll on the jail and Behavioral Health, we continued the MAT services. But, unfortunately, the HMA grant ended in Dec. 2020, and those funds were exhausted.
Today, MCBHRS and MCSO are dedicated to continue the work started and expand upon that work. We have brought in our local health clinics, who are also MAT program providers, and have been working together to create "The Bridge Program." This collaboration will further identify individuals with opioid use disorder and other substance use disorders and start them on MAT in custody and case managing them to MAT and/ or substance use treatment services at the clinics and Behavioral Health Substance Use Disorders Treatment (SUDT) pre-release. We plan to follow these individuals post-release, and support them however possible to ensure they have what they need to follow through with MAT/treatment services and thereby, measure outcomes and ultimately reduce recidivism.
We seek to utilize the COSSAP grant funding to pay for a Behavioral Health case manager to work full time within the jail and perform comprehensive case management and discharge planning for these identified individuals.