The Monroe County Sheriff's Office is the only law enforcement agency in the country to receive funding for a brand new opioid treatment facility right inside the Monroe County Jail. That was made possible with the help of a $262,500 federal grant awarded by the University of Baltimore.
Incoming inmates fighting opioid addiction can enter the new Medication Assisted Program inside the jail. Men and women will be separated into two units that hold 73 beds.
“Dorms are always intense. In here it will be focusing on your sobriety. You can’t do that anywhere else in the jail,” said Robert Buck, jail inmate.
By entering this program those struggling with addiction will have access to FDA-approved medications, counseling and behavioral therapy.
“Not only are we providing drug and alcohol treatment we will be providing medical assisted treatment. That will include suboxone, methadone and vivitrol,” said Dr. Tisha Smith, director of Drug and Alcohol Programming for the Monroe County Jail.
With the assistance of many local agencies, the program will make sure inmates continue to receive help once they leave the jail.
“The most important and difficult part is the transition when people are leaving the jail. They need job training, mental health counselling, addiction counseling or addiction treatment,” said Todd Baxter, Monroe County sheriff.
“As soon as you walk out of here you have a chance, where as before you didn’t have a chance. You just went out there, no housing, nothing. You‘re stuck in the streets and now they’re going to help you set up something for the future,” said Buck.
To continue improving the program, MCSO is partnering with an undetermined university to track and evaluate the program. It goes into effect January, 22.