Summary report on SUD Corrections Webinar Series

Inspired by BRTA members efforts to support treatment and support services for SUD in county and regional correctional facilities on the Middle Peninsula, Northern Neck and Eastern Shore, and community conversations about how to spend Opioid Settlement funds going to the localities, a webinar series was conceived, created and launched.

In partnership with the Virginia Opioid Abatement Authority, BRTA recruited speakers from the U.S. Department of Justice ADA enforcement division, Chesterfield County’s and Fairfax County’s Sheriff’s Office, the Bureau of Justice Assistance to create a 3-part series on “Implementing Effective SUD Treatment in Regional and County Correctional Facilities”.

The first day aimed to address the “Why” with Steve Gordon, Civil Rights Enforcement Coordinator with the US DOJ explaining the how the Americans with Disabilities Act requires correctional facilities to provide effective treatment for SUD just as they are required to do for other chronic illnesses. George Mantovani Gay, MD, Medical Director of the Chesterfield County Sheriff’s Department really zoomed on overcoming stigma regarding the use of Medications for Addiction Treatment and described how the program works in the Chesterfield County Jail. Kerri Rhodes, LPC and Director of Behavioral and Mental Health Division described the HARP Program, Helping Addicts Recover Progressively. Her work, inspired by her personal story, enables recovery through peer support, professional services and community partners to offer effective treatment and recovery both during incarceration and after release. Sheriff Karl S. Leonard made a surprise appearance to affirm the important work being done in collaboration with other community organizations to address the problems of addiction in their county, and is credited with initiating these innovative programs.

Day two focused in on the “nuts and bolts” of implementation, highlighting the work of Fairfax County Sheriff’s Department to implement both MAT and the STAR Program (Striving to Achieve Recovery) in the Fairfax County Adult Detention Center. Sheriff Stacey Ann Kincaid kicked off the presentation, followed by Laura Yaeger, LPC and Director of Correctional Health and Human Services and Sahana Karpoor, LCSW and Behavioral Health/MAT Program Manager. Their presentation offered a comprehensive look at the 2 programs, policies and procedures, workforce training, coordination with community resources, funding support, and pitfalls which really gave an in-depth picture of both the opportunities and challenges of implementation.

Finding funding and resources to support the implementation of programs in local and regional jails was the theme of Day 3, with speakers from the Virginia Opioid Abatement Authority, the Bureau of Justice Assistance, Rulo Strategies and Bay Rivers Telehealth Alliance, who offered detailed information about strategies and resources to identify funding and supports for planning and implementation of MAT Programs, and Treatment and Recovery services. Speakers included Charlie Lintecum, Director of Operations for the Virginia Opioid Abatement Authority; Michelle White, Senior Policy Advisor for BJA; Kash Siddiqi, Rulo Strategies Senior Director; and Donna Dittman Hale, Executive Consultant for Bay Rivers Telehealth Alliance and Moderator for the series.

325 people and over 100 organizations benefited from this series including 19 Correctional Facilities, 13 units of City/County Government, 15 SUD Treatment and Support Providers (non-CSBs), 17 Community Services Boards, 13 State Government Agencies, 3 US Government Agencies, 5 Higher Educational Institutions, 3 Pharmaceutical/Medical Device Companies, 11 Associations and Consultants, and 2 Virginia Health Departments. Participant feedback included comments about “This was an awesome event.” “Fantastic program that will save lives. Thanks for organizing.” “Very well organized; knowledgeable presenters; timely and pertinent information.” 95% of participants gave a Very Good to Excellent Rating! If you would like to view the recordings, look at the slide presentations and access the extensive Resource List compiled by the speakers for participants, please go to https://brtava.org/webinar-implementing-effective-sud-treatment-in-regional-county-facilities.

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