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7 Best Practices and Goals for Agencies Assisting Patients with a Substance Use Disorder and Criminal Legal Involvement


The growing rates of substance use and overdose deaths have significantly impacted the U.S. criminal legal system. Almost half of individuals in federal facilities (Mumola & Karberg, 2006), 58% in state facilities, and 63% in county jails (Bronson, 2017) have a substance use disorder. Despite the high prevalence rates), very few individuals receive evidence-based treatment, such as medications for opioid use disorder (MOUD). Providing MOUD during incarceration and during reentry has shown to reduce overdose deaths (Degenhardt et al, 2024) and recidivism (Evans et al, 2022), and increase treatment engagement, retention, and health outcomes (National Academies of Sciences, 2019).  


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