To reduce the risk of opioid overdose and death when reentering the community after incarceration, individuals with opioid use disorder who are incarcerated should have access to jail-provided medications for opioid use disorder (MOUD) – methadone, buprenorphine, and naltrexone – and are promptly connected to services in the community upon release. Planning for reentry from jail is challenging under normal circumstances but is even more challenging when people are admitted and released within days. On January 1, 2017, New Jersey implemented criminal justice reform which shifted the state away from cash bail and set deadlines for timely indictment and disposition of criminal charges. Under this new system, people are released from jail quite rapidly, leaving little time to provide OUD treatment within the jail and to plan for continuity of OUD treatment in the community.
Hudson County, NJ recently created the Department of Housing and Community Reintegration to coordinate reentry. The Department houses all county housing resources, including the county Housing and Urban Development office; operates portions of Medicaid; oversees the clinical network of care; and has over 80 intensive case managers. The Department formed the Division of Reentry, moving reentry from a programmatic endeavor to a recognized piece of government armed with all county resources to ensure successful reentry to the community. The goals of the Division of Reentry, under the leadership of its first Division Chief, Jacqueline Jetter, is to help coordinate all community reentry services, including services co-located at critical points of contact for people reentering the community, avoid incarceration, and facilitate diversion.
The purpose of this webinar is to discuss common characteristics of successful MOUD and reentry programs and will highlight the jail reentry program in Hudson County, NJ.