The majority of incarcerated individuals have a substance use disorder (SUD) or a history of substance use (85%). It is the vision of JCOIN that every person involved in the criminal justice system has access to health care, including evidence-based treatment for opioid use disorder (OUD).
JCOIN’s Massachusetts Research Hub is part of the network of researchers and stakeholders working together to study real-world interventions to improve treatment for OUD in justice settings. A recent research spotlight of their work by NIH HEAL Initiative® highlights their work to understand expanded access to medications for opioid use disorder in justice settings across Massachusetts.
“The justice system is at the forefront of public health innovation here in Massachusetts…It gives us the opportunity to learn whether a program like this is effective, how it can be implemented, and what it costs,” shared Elizabeth Evans, Ph.D., of the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, and co-Principal Investigator, along with Peter Friedmann, M.D., of the Massachusetts Hub.
The feature includes several short videos from researchers and partners in the justice system and the Massachusetts Department of Public Health, discussing issues like the prevalence of opioid use disorder in jails, the importance of evidence-based treatment for individuals and how it can help to make communities safer, the challenges of implementing opioid treatment programs in justice settings, and more.