CENTERING PEOPLE WHO REMAIN IN THE SYSTEM & INDIVIDUALIZING SERVICES

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Expanding Access to Opioid Treatment and Services Through an Equity Lens

Many individuals remain entangled in the criminal legal system through prison and probation sentences. Historically, prison and probation agencies require individuals to participate in a standard menu of treatment services, with little regard if the content of the service and its modality of delivery (e.g., group, individual) is best for the individual. Further, rarely do these standard services use a culturally responsive lens nor attend to the ways race, gender, sexuality, immigration, and language impact engagement in treatment. JSP recognizes that improving wellbeing and reducing future arrest requires centering individuals in their own journey towards recovery and wellness.

JSP is collaborating with the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency (PCCD) to develop and implement networks of culturally relevant services for individuals on probation and parole with opioid use disorder. The goal of the collaboration, the Comprehensive Opioid, Stimulant and Substance Use Site-based Program (COSSUP), is to reduce overdose deaths among Pennsylvanians on probation and parole by building the capacity of local communities to support these individuals authentically.

COSSUP centers the community and people historically excluded from conversations related to service development. Across the five participating Pennsylvania communities, each must assemble a community advisory board (CAB) to lead the work in the community. Each CAB includes local leaders from probation and parole agencies, treatment providers, local opioid experts, justice-involved individuals, and individuals with- and in recovery from- SUD and OUD– some of whom have experienced a non-fatal overdose while on community supervision. Together, they will identify the needed continuum of services with an eye towards services that understand how culture and identity impact treatment participation. JSP recognizes centering individuals requires understanding the unique needs of communities within communities. This includes intentionally understanding the assets and needs within Black communities, Hispanic communities, and other minoritized communities residing across the five project counties. With these needs identified, CAB teams will develop an action plan for meeting those needs, and work together on implementing the plan. JSP’s efforts include facilitating the process, community meetings, and action plans, as well as creating a virtual statewide community of practice connecting project sites across the state with each other to learn and infuse these learnings into their own local action plans. 

For individuals on probation or returning from incarceration, tailoring support to address the unique challenges of opioid use disorder is essential. Through in depth process assessment, performance monitoring, and outcome evaluation, JSP aims to learn from project sites in to share implementation knowledge more broadly with jurisdictions seeking to reduce recurring interactions with the criminal legal system, decrease deaths related to overdose, and foster community healing.

Related Resources

COSSUP C.A.R.E.E.S.

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Executive Summary: COSSUP Needs Assessment

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COSSUP York County Strategies

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COSSUP Dauphin County Strategies

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COSSUP Enhancing Equity

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