Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2023, $550,000)
The Franklin County Sheriff’s Office (FCSO), in Greenfield, MA, seeks $550,000 in funding to enhance and expand cross-system collaboration to improve outcomes for justice involved individuals with co-occurring mental health and substance use disorders, residing in Franklin County (a federally designated rural area county), with a program-specific priority area targeting women and LGBTQ+ individuals that have experienced commercial sexual exploitation (CSE), through provision of transitional and reentry supportive services in a collaborative continuum of care. As the lead applicant, FCSO will partner with Community Health Center of Franklin County (CHCFC) and Center for Human Development (CHD) as behavioral health treatment providers. The Salasin Project, a domestic violence services organization, will hire a peer advocate to join with the FCSO’s clinical caseworker in meeting the needs of these marginalized and vulnerable individuals. The overwhelming majority of those incarcerated at FCSO (92%) report trauma histories, and (86%) co-occurring mental health and substance use conditions. The proportion of those individuals who self-report heroin/opioids as their primary problem is steadily increasing, from 30% in 2016 to 55% in 2021. Compounding these issues is the often hidden and underreported underlying events experienced by nearly all the incarcerated women at FCSO of commercial sexual exploitation. There is a high correlation of PTSD, depression, anxiety, suicide, substance use disorders, and traumatic brain injury among this population. Acknowledging this emerging issue, FCSO is partnering with community agencies to identify and address the gaps in services in the region not only for mental health and substance use disorders, but lack of education and coordinated care for people that have experienced CSE. FCSO and the region’s Opioid Task Force recognized CSE as a major public health issue and formed the Human Trafficking and Sexual Exploitation (HTSE) working group, who will serve as an advisory group for this project. In addition to the Salasin Project, other subcontractors include Alternative Solutions Associates, Inc. who will assist with planning, implementation, quality assurance oversight, evaluation and reporting, and clinical psychologist with expertise working with survivors of CSE, who will provide training to staff, partners, and community members, provide input as to the project design, and offer clinical consultation to staff. This project builds upon a previously awarded JMHCP grant in 2016 (award #2016-MO-BX-0008) that helped FCSO develop and implement an intensive integrated dual diagnosis case management model for justice-involved women.