MAT in Jails and Drug Courts

Project Overview

This project, MAT in Jails and Drug Courts, is funded by the California Department of Health Care Services (DHCS) through the California FY 2022/23 budget, which included an allocation of State General Funds for ongoing support to the Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT) Expansion Project. The goal of this project is to increase access to MAT in county jails and drug courts while also building county capacity to effectively respond to individuals with justice system involvement with opioid use disorder (OUD), stimulant use disorder, and other substance use disorders (SUD). The ultimate goal of the Learning Collaborative is for Jail MAT county teams to commit to increasing access to at least two forms of the three FDA-approved medications for treatment of OUD in their jails and drug courts. The technical assistance model works from the basis that each county starts at a different point in access to MAT and will progress in accordance with their resources and priorities. The project brings together county teams in a learning collaborative with the objective to improve coordination among all county agencies and providers who serve justice-involved county residents and to develop bridges to further build system capacity to ensure access to effective treatment and recovery supports.

Counties participating in the MAT in Jails and Drug Courts Learning Collaborative receive technical assistance through individualized monthly coaching, topic-specific webinars, quarterly learning collaboratives, office hours, and ad hoc training. The Learning Collaborative is available to teams from all California counties interested in developing or expanding access to MAT for OUD in their jails and through their drug court systems. This project will also provide technical assistance to child welfare/juvenile justice county teams. Grant funds and participation stipends are available to participating county teams receiving technical assistance to enhance county efforts and pilot innovative solutions that demonstrate outcomes to lead to sustainable funding. Outreach and communication regarding the project and participation requirements to counties and applicable associations will be sent in November 2022 with the county team participation finalized in January 2023.

This project receives State General Funds from the State of California.

State Opioid Response I and II Project History

Throughout State Opioid Response (SOR) I and SOR II, Health Management Associates (HMA) led two projects:

  • Expanding Access to MAT in County Criminal Justice Settings “Jail MAT”
  • County Touchpoints for Access to MAT for Justice-Involved Individuals “County Touchpoints”

Jail MAT Background

In 2018, Health Management Associates (HMA) launched the first cohort of Expanding Access to MAT in County Criminal Justice Settings learning collaborative in 23 California counties under contract with California’s Department of Health Care Services (DHCS) with State Opioid Response (SOR) I funding. In spring 2020, additional counties joined, bringing the total to 32 counties which covered more than 80% of the state’s population. In September 2020, county teams who participated under SOR I as were invited to apply to continue in the learning collaborative under SOR II.  New counties were also encouraged and invited to participate. Throughout 2021-2022, 32 CA counties participated under SOR II and 27 of these counties received an implementation grant. Implementation grants were used to supplement staffing costs, purchase medications, increase behavioral health services, provide harm reduction, develop reentry resources and support, and more. All project artifacts and resources have been archived on this website page. Throughout the State Opioid Response (SOR) I and SOR II funding and contracting periods, 37 different California counties have participated in the Learning Collaborative. As of August 2022, 31,968 individuals have received MAT while incarcerated in county jails participating in this Learning Collaborative across the 36 counties who have submitted data during SOR I and SOR II.  The project engaged advisors from state associations of counties, sheriffs, narcotic treatment providers, the state prison system, and others to help break down barriers and to spread project information.

County Touchpoints Background

In August 2018, Health Management Associates (HMA) recognized the need to educate and engage other justice system stakeholders to support jail MAT implementation among key county partners and stakeholders. HMA established an in-person learning collaborative model across the state with six targeted stakeholder groups: probation, adult collaborative courts, youth/dependency courts, public defenders, district attorneys, and human services/child welfare. More than 1,500 persons from these stakeholder groups were trained under State Opioid Response (SOR) I. Under SOR II, the project operated two learning collaboratives that addressed MAT access issues identified in SOR I justice-related projects and built on the successful strategies engaged in the Jail MAT project: county child welfare systems, including dependency courts and juvenile probation, and special populations focusing on persons with co-occurring substance use disorder (SUD) and serious mental illness (SMI) outside of incarceration. There were 13 Child Welfare teams and 5 Special Populations teams representing 14 county teams at the intersection of SUD, justice, and child welfare systems. County teams received targeted education and training about opioid addiction and treatment in county criminal justice and child welfare systems and worked on system collaborations, resource alignment, system mapping and gap analysis. Additional optional workgroups (Plans of Safe Care and Child Welfare Data) were convened with the aim of enhancing processes, sharing best practices, and leveraging multi-county input to inform state and county decisions.

Project Leads

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