County Jail MOUD Expansion Initiative

County Jail MOUD Expansion Initiative

Opioid Use Disorder (OUD) is rampant in our communities and also in jail and prison populations. However, there are estimates that fewer than 1 percent of jails and prisons in the US provide Medications for Opioid Use Disorder (MOUD), also referred to as Medication Assisted Treatment/Medication for Addiction Treatment (MAT).[1] MOUD is well established as the evidence-based treatment for OUD. Barriers for treating individuals with OUD in the community include lack of medical insurance and transportation, and accessing treatment providers, but the controlled environment of a correctional setting can eliminate these and other barriers. Correctional systems can increase MOUD treatment capacity to respond to individuals with OUD within their walls to reduce risk for the incarcerated individual as well as for the staff and detention facility/system.

More than 80% of incarcerated individuals who have a history of opioid use do not receive treatment[2]

Pennsylvania Technical Assistance Program Overview

Treating OUD in detention facilities presents unique challenges and practices in treating OUD vary across Pennsylvania’s jails. As MOUD becomes more accessible in community settings more individuals enter jail having already received treatment with methadone and buprenorphine. Many others are found to have an OUD while incarcerated and are willing to accept treatment.

Each detention setting can plan for implementation of MOUD informed by established evidence-based and best practices and its own resources, capabilities, and priorities.  Key considerations include developing protocols for initiating and maintaining buprenorphine and methadone and optimizing the delivery of treatment while minimizing opportunities for misuse. Balancing county priorities for MOUD treatment and jail priorities for public safety and contraband is essential. Also, treatment started in the detention setting should be accessible upon release so MOUD services should be developed in collaboration with the community’s outpatient drug treatment system.

This technical assistance (TA) program prepared county teams to improve and expand access to MOUD in local jails and surrounding communities through individual county jail coaching and virtual learning sessions. Goals of the project are to increase county knowledge and understanding of MOUD in the criminal justice system, increase the use of MOUD using evidence-based practices, and promote a county culture that supports MOUD for incarcerated individuals.

This site is a reference for TA program materials for county jails, state correctional institutions, community members, and program partners in the Commonwealth who are expanding and implementing MOUD and those interested in learning more about it.

MOUD Implementation Tools and Resources

County teams participating in the program identified four key areas for technical assistance to support MOUD implementation.  We encourage you to use these tools and resources to support your work to implement and expand MOUD programs in your jail and community. For more information, please reach out to any of the HMA team members listed below.

Medication Administration and Diversion

Additional Multi-Disciplinary Resources to Support MOUD Implementation in the Jail Setting

HMA Team

Please contact us for more information
Project Manager – Mary Kate Brousseau
Project Director – Jean Glossa

Mary Kate Brousseau

Washington, DC

Linda Follenweider MS, APRN

Managing Director, Justice Involved Services
Chicago, IL

Jean Glossa MD, MBA, FACP

Managing Director
Washington, DC

Bren Manaugh MSW, LCSW-S, CCTS

Austin, TX

Marc Richman PhD

Philadelphia, PA

Shannon Robinson MD

Costa Mesa, CA

Rich VandenHeuvel

Lansing, MI


The Program is a joint effort of the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency (PCCD), the Pennsylvania Department of Corrections (DOC), PrimeCare Medical, and Vital Strategies to support robust expert technical assistance (TA) for grantee jails that are standing up or expanding opioid agonist medications.

Technical assistance is supported with funding from Vital Strategies, the lead partner in a Bloomberg Philanthropies-supported initiative to combat the overdose epidemic in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. The organization is working comprehensively across the commonwealth to promote and facilitate strategies that will have a sustainable impact on overdose deaths, including the standing up and expansion of opioid agonist treatment options in correctional settings.


[1] Vestal, C. (2018, April 4). New Momentum for Addiction Treatment Behind Bars. Pew Stateline. Retrieved from  Furtrher

[2] National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University. (2010). Behind Bars II: Substance Abuse and America’s Prison Population.