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Philadelphia Second Chance Act Reentry Initiative

Award Information

Award #
Funding Category
Competitive Discretionary
Congressional District
Funding First Awarded
Total funding (to date)

Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2022, $898,188)

The Philadelphia Department of Behavioral Health and Intellectual disAbility Services (DBHIDS) partnering with the Philadelphia Department of Prisons (PDP) submits this application for consideration under the Improving Substance Use Disorder Treatment and Recovery Outcomes for Adults in Reentry with a focus on Priority A to promote racial equity and the removal of barriers to access and opportunity for communities that have been historically underserved, marginalized, and adversely affected by inequality (pg. 8).

The proposed Peerstar Expansion SUD Pilot will increase the capacity of the jail to support incarcerated individuals experiencing substance use disorder (SUD) or co-occurring serious mental illness and substance use disorders (SMI/SUD) by facilitating connections to community-based medication assisted treatment (MAT), therapeutic treatment, and reentry supports.

Of Philadelphia’s estimated 1.5 million people, 45% identify as white and 44% identify as Black/African American; 15% identify their ethnicity as Hispanic/Latinx. In April 2021, Philadelphia’s jail population included 4,831 individuals. Black individuals are significantly overrepresented in the jail population (74%) compared to white individuals in the jail (8%). Of the 381 presently incarcerated individuals on MAT, 53% are Black.

Approximately 100-300 individuals with SUD are admitted to the jail monthly, comprising up to 20% of admissions. Individuals with SUD face distinctive challenges obtaining substance use services upon jail release. The current 3-year recidivism rate is 59%. Connecting individuals to community-based MAT, case management, behavioral health, and housing services while they are still incarcerated is critical to providing continuity of care that prevent reincarceration and overdose following release.

DBHIDS and PDP will collaborate to streamline reentry through planning processes, enhancing partnerships with cross-systems agencies and referral sources, providing evidence-based practice (EBP)-supported training, and establishing data collection/management plans. EBPs will include Motivational Interviewing (MI) and Brief Critical Time Intervention. DBHIDS and PDP will develop and execute reentry plans to increase connections to care upon release. PDP staff will identify individuals with SUD and convey this information to the Peerstar Expansion team, who will meet with release-eligible individuals, screen for reentry needs, and use MI skills to prepare individuals for community reintegration. Peerstar Certified Recovery Specialists (CRS) will provide additional follow-up to increase rates of MAT engagement, improve behavioral health outcomes, and decrease recidivism.

The proposed initiative seeks $900,000 in funding to support three years of programming, during which at least 1,500 people will be served. The intended sub-recipient, Peerstar, is the PDP-contracted treatment provider. An MOA has been established between DBHIDS and PDP.

Date Created: September 27, 2022