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Oconee County Sheriff's Office COSSUP Initiative

Award Information

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

Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2023, $1,000,000)

The Oconee County Sheriff’s Office (OCSO) located in Northwest South
Carolina requests $1,000,000 from US Bureau of Justice Assistance FY 2023 Comprehensive
Opioid, Stimulant, and Substance Use Site-based Program (Category 1c: Competition ID C-BJA-
2023-00019-PROD) to implement and deliver a law enforcement led diversion to treatment
initiative in Oconee County (Population of 78,607, designated 100% rural). Per the objectives of
Category 1, the project will develop a collaborative comprehensive local response to the county’s substance use and misuse problem through synthesizing grant resources with existing practices
and personnel to support planned activities per allowable use of funds to: 1) develop a law
enforcement deflection and diversion program through enhanced training and the establishment
of a community drop-off center (21% of budget); 2) enhance alternative-to-incarceration
treatment program (11%); 3) deliver evidence-based substance use disorder treatment including
MAT, counseling, and connections with certified peer support specialists both in the detention
center and through the community drop-off center (11%); 4) support recovery by providing
transitional housing and peer support services (14%); and 5) embed a treatment coordinator into
OCSO to screen for substance use disorders, provide services and referrals, and to help divert
individuals from the criminal justice system (22%). To aid in implementing this plan, recovery
community stakeholders from the county, including law enforcement agencies, community
behavioral and mental health services, addiction services, and hospital and emergency services
will be included on the multidisciplinary Oconee Recovery Coordinating Council (ORCC) to
participate in ongoing meeting sessions with the project team and serve as a permanent standing
body with the mission of increasing cooperation and collaboration to sustain substance use
disorder treatment and recovery efforts (see MOUs). The project will address issues related to racial equity and the removal of barriers to access and
opportunity for communities that have been historically underserved, marginalized, and
adversely affected by inequality through providing impartial policing training for law
enforcement and treatment services targeted to underserved minority communities . Additionally, there will be a strong research-practitioner partnership with the Center for Criminal Justice and Social Research at Clemson University to provide a scientific mixed methods program evaluation to provide empirical feedback for program improvement and dissemination of process and outcome findings to the law enforcement, and research communities.

Date Created: September 25, 2023