California Expands Access To Opioid Treatment In Jails And Drug Courts

SACRAMENTO — California, through the Department of Health Care Services (DHCS), today announced it will expand Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT) to jails and drug courts. The $2.9 million funding announced today will go to 29 counties to support the development or expansion of access to MAT.

“California is committed to ensuring that justice-involved individuals receive Medication Assisted Treatment to reduce unmet treatment needs in criminal justice settings. This project supports county jails and drug courts with best practices to engage individuals with an opioid use disorder and provide treatment,” said DHCS Director Michelle Baass.

Why This is Important

By bringing county teams together in a learning collaborative, county agencies and providers serving justice-involved residents can more effectively coordinate and further build system capacity to ensure access to effective treatment and recovery supports. This expansion will better serve residents in need, and MAT, specifically, has been shown to reduce criminal activity and reincarceration to better serve the entire community.

What They’re Saying

  • Sacramento County Department of Health Services, Adult Correctional Health: “With the assistance of this training and guidance, health and custody staff feel more informed and have greater buy-in overall to implement new processes surrounding MAT.”
  • Solano County Sheriff’s Office: “The learning collaborative has been directly responsible for Solano County being able to implement MAT in our jails.”
  • Santa Cruz County Sheriff’s Office: “Santa Cruz County has benefited from the learning collaborative by having experts readily accessible to offer best practices regarding MAT in our jail systems.”

Additional Information

The MAT in Jails and Drug Courts Project is funded through the state General Fund through June 2025. Grant funds and participation stipends are available to all California counties interested in developing or expanding access to MAT for opioid use disorders in their jails and drug court systems. Counties participating in the project will receive technical assistance through individualized monthly coaching, topic-specific webinars, and quarterly learning collaboratives.

Bigger Picture

This project builds upon the previous “Expanding Access to MAT in County Criminal Justice Settings” and “County Touchpoints for Access to MAT for Justice-Involved Individuals” programs and complements the Systems of Care project, all funded through federal State Opioid Response (SOR) I and II grants. From 2018 to 2022, 39 counties participated in these projects, representing 67 percent of California’s counties and 83 percent of the state’s population.

More information about the MAT in Jails and Drug Courts Project and a list of awarded counties, as well as information about previous projects, is available on the Addiction Free CA webpage.