By Jerzy Shedlock, Columbian Breaking News Reporter
Published: July 25, 2019, 6:51 PM
Columbia River Mental Health Services announced Thursday it will be working toward a partnership with the Clark County Jail to provide treatment for opioid addiction in the correctional facility.
If the plan comes to fruition, the jail would be the first in Washington with a certified opioid treatment program, according to officials who spoke at the re-entry provider meeting at the Public Service Center in Vancouver. Opioids include heroin and prescription pain medications. Read More here
During its meeting July 7-8, the NACCHO Board of Directors approved the policy statements listed below.
Policy statements inform and support NACCHO's national advocacy for local health departments and programmatic work. They also support the local voice in policy development, programs, and stakeholder education. NACCHO encourages local health departments to use these policy recommendations as models for their communities. Most policy statements are drafted by NACCHO workgroups and informed by workgroup discussions. Individual members are also invited to submit policy statements to be considered by the relevant workgroup and the Board of Directors. All of NACCHO's current policy statements can be found here.
Note: This document was updated on July 23, 2019, to include objections and evidence-based responses that are often raised in correctional justice settings.
Californians struggling with substance use, including opioid use disorder (OUD), should be screened for these illnesses wherever they seek help; those with OUD can be treated immediately and referred for ongoing care. California is building a “no wrong door” health care system, ensuring that medications for addiction treatment are widely available in emergency departments and hospitals, primary care and mental health clinics, jails and prisons, residential treatment programs, and other care settings. The need is urgent, since fentanyl (an extremely potent street drug) is increasingly responsible for overdose deaths for users of opioids and stimulants; fentanyl overdose deaths have more than quadrupled in California between 2014 and 2017. To read more
By Rachel Looker Jul. 22, 2019
In Clackamas County, Ore., inmates who are being released from the county jail don’t have to look far to receive help transitioning back to life outside of prison.
The Clackamas County Transition Center is the first of its kind in the region and provides a wide variety of services for justice-involved individuals in a location that is hard to miss.
“We are right across the parking lot from the jail,” said Kelli Zook, the former Transition Center coordinator.
According to Clackamas County Chief Deputy Jenna Morrison, when inmates are released, they physically walk past the transition center on their way out of the Clackamas County Jail. READ MORE
SEE ALSO: Clackamas County Transition Center
this could rub some people the wrong way. WACHSA does not endorse, we just report the news.
Since the state’s public safety realignment in 2011, sheriffs have used criminal legal reform as a scapegoat for their failure to maintain safe jails—and recent reporting has given county officials a free pass to make that excuse.
Jonathan Ben-Menachem is a criminal justice advocate who also writes about issues including policing and the criminalization of poverty.
At The Appeal, we produce original journalism about criminal justice that engages the public and holds officials to account. We focus on the most significant drivers of mass incarceration, which occur at the state and local level. Nearly one in four Americans has a criminal record, and state-level facilities hold 87 percent of America’s incarcerated people. We draw on deep expertise to expose the human impact of our most routine criminal justice practices.
Behavioral Wellness Commission to Submit Report Outlining Potential Solutions
By Delaney Smith | Fri Jul 19, 2019 | 11:55am
There are currently 821 mentally ill inmates statewide who are deemed incompetent to stand trial but are stuck in California jails waiting to receive treatment in Department of State Hospitals facilities. Until beds become available, they have to go without treatment — sometimes for months.
Homicides in California county jails are on the rise almost everywhere except Los Angeles. That’s one of the key findings from the second installment of The Sacramento Bee and ProPublica yearlong investigation into how California prison reforms changed county-run lockups all over the state.
Here’s the lede on today’s piece from Jason Pohl and Ryan Gabrielson.
Deadly violence surged in county jails across California since the state began sending thousands of inmates to local lockups instead of prisons, the result of a dramatic criminal justice transformation that left many sheriffs ill-equipped to handle a new and dangerous population.
Since 2011, when the U.S. Supreme Court ordered California to overhaul its overcrowded prisons, inmate-on-inmate homicides have risen 46 percent in county jails statewide compared with the seven years before, a McClatchy and ProPublica analysis of California Department of Justice data and autopsy records shows.
Killings tripled and even quadrupled in several counties.
The increase in violent deaths in jails began soon after California officials approved sweeping reforms called “realignment” in response to the court ruling. The result has meant the conditions in many jails now mirror those in the once-overcrowded prisons, with inmates killing each other at an increasing rate.
Inmates have stabbed, bludgeoned or strangled their cellmates, moved bodies and wiped away blood before guards noticed, autopsy reports show. Staff at the jails have missed several of the crimes entirely, only finding the bodies hours later.
Here’s the full story, ‘Hellbent’ on killing: Homicides surge in overwhelmed California jails.
Perhaps the strangest aspect of practicing medicine in a jail or prison is "comfort requests." This is when an inmate comes to the medical practitioner asking for something like a second mattress, the right to wear their own shoes, a second pillow, a second blanket, etc. This, of course, never happens in an outside medical practice. READ THE FULL ARTICLE
News | June 26, 2019
BRECKENRIDGE — Summit County officials are hopeful that recent changes at the Summit County Detention Facility will help to reduce rates of recidivism among incarcerated individuals dealing with mental health and substance abuse issues.
Last week, the Summit County Sheriff’s Office introduced a new mental health navigator position at the jail, a move meant to ensure individuals receive the proper care for their mental health and addiction issues, both in custody and after their release.
“The goal is to have less recidivism in the jail,” said Sheriff Jaime FitzSimons, who made the addition of the navigator position a key point in his campaign last year. “We want fewer people coming into the jail that have committed a crime because they’re in crisis, or because they have a substance use disorder, and they’ve committed a crime to maintain their substance use. … I think we will see a big community impact.” https://www.summitdaily.com/news/summit-county-jail-adds-mental-health-navigator-to-help-inmates-transition-to-life-after-incarceration/
The "dope boys" hang out near the jail awaiting newly freed inmates with addiction. They'll hand you a free sample to get you back. Triggers to use drugs again – the corners where you've used, for one – are all around, and any plans for a fresh start easily evaporate.
"In here, it’s black and white," said Ashley Pels, a Hamilton County jail inmate, looking around the recovery pod for women. Get released, she said, and "it’s like 'The Wizard of Oz.'”
The opioid receptors in her brain just "light up," she said, and her cravings roar back.
There's a big chance of relapse after release, and some who do will die. If they survive, three of four ex-inmates like Pels will end up returning to their addiction – and potentially returning to the crimes they committed to support their addiction.
It's a vicious cycle for the addicted and their families, one that has safety, financial and other consequences for the rest of society. But since May, health care providers at the Hamilton County jail have been using medicine to help break the connection.
Cincinnati | The Enquirer I will die' without it: Hamilton County jail offers addicted inmates meds behind bars