Medications for Opioid Use Disorder in Corrections

Medications used to treat opioid use disorder (OUD) are considered the “gold standard” of treatment. These medications have been carefully studied and have proven to be effective in helping individuals recover from OUD, increase treatment engagement, and reduce recurrence of use. Yet, despite the evidence, these medications are underutilized particularly in justice settings.

The following resources are available to learn more about medications for opioid use disorder and hear from practitioners and researchers about the benefits of providing these medications.

Quick links:

Practitioner Testimonials

Anne Precythe
Director, Missouri Department of Corrections

We’ve referred to substance use disorders as diseases, and now we have a treatment for them. Why in the world wouldn’t we embrace that and want to use those types of tools to help beat this disease?

John Wetzel
Secretary, Pennsylvania Department of Corrections

I’m involved because I believe it’s the right thing to do. I believe there is a path out of addiction and I think we have a responsibility to do everything we can to try and set someone up to be successful.

Marcus Hicks
Former Commissioner, New Jersey Department of Corrections

We have taken a mantra to reentry saying that we have to rehabilitate the entire person, we have to address folks, their needs, as they come to us.

Kevin Kempf
Executive Director, Correctional Leaders Association

I don’t think there is anyone that doesn’t know or have a family member or someone that they love that hasn’t been affected by opioid addiction.

Steve Seitchek
MAT Statewide Coordinator, Pennsylvania Department of Corrections

These medications [for opioid use disorder] are able to stabilize individuals in a manner that allows their brain to slowly heal.

The Science of MOUD

Understanding Medications for Opioid Use Disorder (MOUD) with Dr. Peter Friedmann

Learn more about the different medications for opioid use disorder (MOUD) from Dr. Peter Friedmann, Chief Research Officer at Baystate Health.

Understanding Addiction Treatment

Learn more about the science behind addiction treatment from some of the field’s top practitioners.


  • Dr. Sarah Vinson, Morehouse School of Medicine
  • Dr. Brian Fuehrlein, Yale University
  • Dr. James Berry, West Virginia University
  • Dr. Mark Gold, Psychiatrist and Addiction Medical Expert


Webinars and Podcasts

Webinar: Reentry Planning for People with Opioid Use Disorder

This webinar from the Correctional Leaders Association (CLA) in partnership with NIH's Justice Community Opioid Innovation Network (JCOIN), highlighted the latest research, science and innovation around mitigating risk during reentry for people with opioid use disorders.

Webinar: Reentry Best Practices for People with Opioid Use Disorder

This webinar, co-hosted by JCOIN and The Council of State Governments (CSG) Justice Center, discusses reentry best practices to mitigate risk during reentry for people with use disorder as they transition to the community.

Webinar: Reentry Research: Mitigating the Risk during Reentry for People with Substance Use Disorders

This webinar discusses the latest research, science, and innovation around treating individuals with a substance use disorder during and after incarceration.

Webinar: Medications for Opioid Use Disorder in Criminal Justice Settings

This webinar discusses the FDA-approved medications for opioid use disorder (MOUD) and the effectiveness of MOUD for individuals with an opioid use disorder, specifically for those in jails and prisons.


Sheriff Koutoujian from MA and Matthew Manley from KY each recorded a podcast on Stigma, Diversion and Community Transition.

Online Courses

CLA and JCOIN Course: Implementing Medications for Addiction Treatment (MAT) in Correctional Settings

As correctional leaders continue to grapple with an increasing number of individuals in custody with opioid use disorder, they also must tackle the complexities of providing medications for addiction treatment (MAT) and coordinating continuity of care during reentry.

This course was developed by JCOIN and the Correctional Leaders Association (CLA) to help educate individuals working in the field of corrections on the latest research and innovations around improving access to substance use disorder services, including MAT, behavioral health interventions, and establishing linkages to community-based support services to mitigate risk during reentry.