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Maryland Funds Re-entry Programs to Help Addicted Offenders

Medication Assisted Treatment Program Begins This Summer

BALTIMORE, MD – As part of the Hogan administration’s coordinated statewide effort to fight heroin and opioid addiction, reduce overdose deaths, and combat drug-related crimes, the Governor’s Office of Crime Control & Prevention announced today that it will award $500,000 to programs in local jails and detention centers across Maryland for Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT) programs. Under some of the programs, selected inmates will receive monthly injections of Vivitrol, a non-narcotic and non-addictive substance that blocks the euphoric effects of heroin and other opiates, and alcohol. Additional funding has been set aside to develop and implement a program in Baltimore City.

“Addressing Maryland’s heroin crisis and helping to break the cycle of crime and reincarceration associated with addiction requires us to offer those reentering society with the tools to live sober, healthy, and productive lives,” said Governor Larry Hogan. “By helping men and women who’ve done their time to get back on their feet, MAT Re-entry programs protect the families of former inmates from the abuse and instability associated with drug dependency and reduce the spiraling costs of drug-related crime and recidivism on our state and local governments.”

The MAT Re-entry programs are modeled after a nationally recognized effort at the Washington County Detention Center, which combines drug treatment with extensive behavioral health counseling. They will be implemented in local jails and detention centers because evidence shows that substance abusers who are treated in their hometowns have more support systems available to them—their families, mentors, and community.

“This is an important tool in our arsenal as we fight the heroin epidemic in Maryland,” said Lt. Governor Boyd K. Rutherford. “With this program, we will be working with people at the local level who have been struggling with substance abuse and addiction.”

Vivitrol manufacturer Alkermes, Inc., will train county detention center and community health providers on the use of the drug, also known by its generic name, naltrexone. Alkermes will donate the initial dose of Vivitrol, which will be administered in the jail or detention center just before inmates are released. Unlike opioid-based medications such as methadone or suboxone which require daily administration, Vivitrol is a once-a-month injection.

Inmates who qualify for the program must be housed within county detention centers, be identified as opiate users, and be within three months of release. Program participants will also be enrolled in Medicaid or otherwise insured prior to release, to pay for the post-release injections. These subsequent injections will be administered by local health departments in partnership with the local detention centers.

To ensure the best possible outcomes, comprehensive post-release treatment programs will be established for each ex-offender. These will include intensive treatment for substance use disorders, and community-based support services such as housing, mental health treatment, education, and employment. Each jurisdiction will develop a program to track and monitor the offenders’ post-release progress, program compliance, recidivism, and subsequent substance abuse.

GOCCP is also currently in the process of working with public safety partners in Baltimore City to develop a unique MAT program to help those charged with non-violent drug-related crimes overcome their addictions.

“These programs will have a positive impact on reducing recidivism and preventing crime in our neighborhoods,” said Christopher Shank, executive director of GOCCP.  “They are designed to help these individuals overcome their addiction and give them the education, skills, and support they need to find jobs and become productive members of their communities.”

The Agencies receiving grant funding are listed below:

Implementing Organization Project Titles Award Amount
Anne Arundel County Dept. of Detention Services MAT Re-entry Program $100,000.00
Carroll County Health Department Carroll County REMAT $54,272.00
Calvert County Health Department Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT) Re-entry $46,400.00
Cecil County Sheriff’s Office Law Enforcement Facility Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT) Re-entry $47,500.00
Frederick County Detention Center A Brighter Tomorrow Re-entry & Recovery Initiative $50,536.00
Howard County Department of Corrections Howard County Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT) Re-entry $39,894.00
Montgomery County Department of Corrections  & Rehabilitation MAT Re-entry Program Montgomery County $31,179.00
Washington County Detention Center Medicated Assisted Treatment (MAT) Re-entry Program Expansion $62,700.00

The grant funding is from the Byrne Justice Assistance Grants program, a federal grant program that supports a broad range of state and local criminal justice initiatives. These funds are intended to reduce existing gaps in services that impact violent crime, crime victims, enforcement, prosecution, adjudication, detention, and rehabilitation.

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