Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2022, $564,566)
According to a recent survey of Washington state jails, approximately sixty percent of those incarcerated have known or suspected substance use disorders (SUD) including opioid use disorder (OUD) at intake. The high prevalence of OUD among incarcerated individuals can lead to increased risk of early death, hepatitis C and HIV. Untreated OUD perpetuates the cycle of incarceration, making it highly likely that an individual suffering from OUD will keep circulating back through the correctional system. Although currently there are some jails offering MOUD, not all Washington state jails offer a full MOUD program. According to a recent Washington State University study, only 37% of WA state jails surveyed, provide MOUD to every individual identified as having an OUD. Barriers include funding, staffing, stigma, and logistics.
In 2021 Washington State Health Care Authority Division of Behavioral Health and Recovery (DBHR) in support of the U.S. Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Assistance Residential Substance Abuse Treatment (RSAT) program, released a letter of interest to solicit new subcontractors for the 2021 RSAT funding. As a result of the release of the letter of interest, DBHR received compelling responses from three county jails. Upon review of the responses and a review of WA-state RSAT budget it was decided that all counties would be awarded RSAT subcontracts through DBHR. Effective October 1, 2021 WA-state DBHR entered into contracts with Jefferson County Jail and recently with Island County Jail. Walla Walla County chose not to extend their contract with the Health Care Authority due to covid and other local barriers. There has been expressed interested by the Washington State Corrections Center for Women and we expect to see them apply for RSAT within the next few months. We plan on continueing these efforts with the 2022 RSAT award.