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March 11, 2020

Implementing Policies to Improve Outcomes for Incarcerated Individuals With Opioid Use Disorder From Intake to Reentry

The most effective policies target groups with high rates of overdose morbidity and mortality, which includes individuals recently released from incarceration. Inspired by Rhode Island’s success at reducing opioid-involved overdose deaths, an increasing number of correctional institutions have begun implementing programs that provide medications for OUD. This session highlights the recommendations provided in the report Applying the Evidence: Legal and Policy Approaches to Address Opioid Use Disorder in the Criminal Justice and Child Welfare Settings, including an overview of the legal risks faced by criminal justice systems that prohibit medications to treat OUD as well as strategies to implement and pay for new or expanded programs. The presentation also reviews the importance of providing comprehensive drug withdrawal management programs in correctional settings and the important role such programs can play in improving long-term outcomes for justice-involved populations.


Regina LaBelle, J.D., Director and Distinguished Scholar, The O'Neill Institute, Georgetown University Law Center

Shelly Weizman, J.D., Associate Director, The O'Neill Institute, Georgetown University Law Center

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