Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2022, $322,369)
Statistics show that there is a direct relationship between the use of drugs and the volume of crime committed by drug users. The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) released a report in November 2016 entitled National Drug Threat Assessment Summary, 2016, which provides an in-depth analysis of the specific types of drugs and drug-abuse patterns nationally, and in the New England region. The report identified opioid abuse, and in particular, heroin and controlled prescription medications, as the primary drug concerns for the New England region. Specifically, in Massachusetts, opioid abuse remains a serious public health concern as drug-related overdoses and deaths continue to rise. The statistics contained in this application highlight the strong association between opioid abuse and violent crime, property crime, and drug-related hospitalizations and deaths.
The goals of the programs are to reduce substance abuse and crime among offenders and reduce recidivism by offering intervention, treatment, counseling and aftercare services. Massachusetts gives preference to applicants who provide aftercare services for their participants. The aftercare services must involve coordination between the correctional treatment program and other human service and rehabilitation programs. These include education and job training, parole supervision, halfway houses, self-help, and peer group programs that aid in rehabilitation.
The Massachusetts Sheriffs’ Departments have worked diligently to establish standards specific to county facilities and which accurately reflect the realities of the community to which the offenders will be returning. Assessment tools and treatment plans that focus on matching offenders to the level of resources available in the community have been adopted and supported. Regularly scheduled training and cross-training are a priority for management, custodial, and treatment staff.
The state and local jail programs work collaboratively with the substance abuse treatment services provided by the Department of Public Health (DPH) and the Department of Mental Health (DMH). DPH funds the substance abuse counselors providing services at each of the eight regional prisoner reentry centers in the State. The Bureau of Substance Abuse Services (BSAS) of the Massachusetts Department of Public Health has had a long history of providing services to the Massachusetts criminal justice system. This system includes the Courts, Probation, Parole, Department of Correction (DOC), and the County Sheriffs’ Departments. These programs include programming that is evidenced based such as: self-help, group and individual therapy, relapse prevention, peer support/dynamics, basic psycho-educational instruction, and urinalysis testing.