The opioid epidemic resulted in nearly 90,000 lives lost last year. Addressing the needs of those in the justice system is important to addressing the opioid crisis. To this end, the Justice Community Opioid Innovation Network (JCOIN - an NIH HEAL initiative administered through the National Institute on Drug Abuse) created the JCOIN Rapid Innovation Grant program (J-RIG), a rapid funding mechanism to support research grants to study newly emerging policies, practices, and interventions that address prevention and treatment of addiction in justice settings. These small grants examine innovative ideas to curtail the opioid epidemic.
Three projects recently have been approved for J-RIG funding.
Study PI: Dr. Kelly Moore, Assistant Professor, Clinical Psychology, East Tennessee State University
Reducing Stigma among Individuals with Addiction and Staff in the Criminal Justice System: A Pilot Feasibility Trial.
This project addresses the serious negative consequences of stigma in the criminal justice system by combining cutting edge research in stigma intervention with implementation science to address stigma associated with addiction, medications for opioid use disorder (MOUD), and involvement in the criminal justice system.
PI: Kelly E Moore, Assistant Professor, Clinical Psychology, East Tennessee State University.
Study PI: Dr. Peter Davidson, Associate Professor, University of California-San Diego
Improving low-threshold naloxone-on-release from incarceration.
The primary purpose of this study is to determine whether providing high-volume, low-threshold, naloxone-on-release is effective at placing naloxone in the hands of jail releasees most likely to experience or witness an overdose. Two secondary aims are to determine facilitators and barriers to releasees obtaining additional doses of naloxone after release in the community and to explore how releasees take naloxone and associated training back to the community.
PI: Peter J Davidson, Associate Professor, University of California-San Diego.
Study PI: Dr. Valerie Hardcastle, Executive Director, Institute for Health Innovation, Northern Kentucky University
Decreasing Relapse and Recidivism: The Evaluation of a Novel Continuity of Care Model for Offenders with Substance Use Disorder (SUD).
This project has two aims: To assess (1) the effectiveness of a new SUD treatment program for short-term detainees in promoting detainee recovery and (2) the program’s impact on recidivism. The evaluation will improve our understanding of best practices for assisting detainees with SUD in re-entering their home communities successfully.
PI: Valerie G Hardcastle, Executive Director, Institute for Health Innovation, Northern Kentucky University.
The first two J-RIG-funded projects began their work in 2020.
- A Statewide Evaluation of the Implementation of Medications for Opioid Use Disorder in Vermont Correctional Facilities and the Impact of COVID-19. PI: Elias Klemperer, Assistant Professor, Vermont Center on Behavior and Health, Dept of Psychiatry, University of Vermont Larner College of Medicine.
- Teleservices in Judicially Led Diversion Programs: The Impact of COVID-19 on the Adoption of Remote Treatment and Recovery Services. PI: Tara Kunkel, Executive Director, Rulo Strategies LLC.
University Professor Faye Taxman, who leads the JCOIN Coordination and Translation Center, said “We’re excited about the innovation and creativity of the J-RIG-funded projects and look forward to the findings from all five projects. These projects will add significantly to our knowledge about ‘what works.’” Each of these projects has been funded for 2 years.
JCOIN is funded by the NIH HEAL Initiative. The JCOIN he Coordination and Translation Center, which oversees the J-RIG program, is administered by the Center for Advancing Correctional Excellence (ACE!) at George Mason University’s Schar School of Policy and Government. The multi-university collaborative is led by Dr. Tisha Wiley at the National Institute on Drug Abuse.