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THURSDAY, APR 5, 2018

Funding for Jail-Based Addiction Treatment and Transition Services Included in 2018-19 NYS Enacted Budget

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Funding for Jail-Based Addiction Treatment and Transition Services Included in 2018-19 NYS Enacted Budget 

Albany, NY – The NYS Conference of Local Mental Hygiene Directors is proud to announce that our proposal seeking State funding to County Mental Health Departments to develop jail-based Substance Use Disorder (SUD) treatment and transition services was included in the final 2018-19 enacted State Budget. An appropriation of $3.75 million has been approved to move forward with this program – a positive outcome resulting from a collective effort between the Conference, the NYS Sheriffs' Association and the NYS Association of Counties.

Kelly A. Hansen, Executive Director of the NYS Conference of Local Mental Hygiene Directors, stated, “The time of incarceration actually provides a unique and time-limited opportunity to offer treatment when a person is clean and sober and may be more receptive to starting treatment. The handful of counties that do have jail-based SUD treatment have seen significant reductions in recidivism in those who received treatment.  Thanks to support from the Executive and Legislature, this funding will reduce recidivism and improve public safety, and most importantly, to help individuals struggling with addiction find lasting recovery. We look forward to working with counties and sheriffs to help implement jail-based addiction treatment and transition programs throughout the state."

“Sheriffs across the state are grateful for the appropriation granted in this year’s budget, and excited to take advantage of the opportunities that this new funding will afford them, and the treatment that our inmates will receive,” said Barry Virts, Wayne County Sheriff and President, New York State Sheriffs’ Association. “Hopefully, this year’s grant is only a starting point, and that by April of 2019, with numerous success stories from our jails, more funding will follow.  I’ve no doubt that this money will help Sheriffs and counties break the cycle addiction and reduce recidivism.”

“We applaud the Governor and the Legislature for investing $3,750,000 for Substance Use Disorder (SUD) treatment and transition services provided in county jails. Providing treatment services in jails is the right thing to do. Successful treatment reduces recidivism, helps reform offenders, and saves taxpayer dollars,” said NYSAC Executive Director Stephen J. Acquario. “I also want to thank the Conference of Local Mental Hygiene Directors and the NYS Sheriffs’ Association for their advocacy partnership on this important initiative.”

The Conference held a press conference in Albany on March 13, 2018 to urge State leaders to include funding in the State budget for jail-based substance use disorder (SUD) treatment and post-release transition services. Advocates for the funding were joined by a bipartisan group of Legislators from the Senate and Assembly.

While aggressive steps have been taken in New York to address the heroin/opioid epidemic, this necessary funding will fill a gap in the treatment and support continuum: the local jail. People suffering from addiction frequently come into contact with the criminal justice system and incarceration provides a unique opportunity to offer treatment supports during periods when people are clean and sober.

According to a December 2017 report commissioned by the Conference, more than half (51%) of New York State jails reported that they have no funding for Substance Use Disorder (SUD) treatment services, despite strong evidence that these services reduce crime, save money, and save lives. This funding is a significant first step in expanding necessary access and resources to treating individuals in our local correctional facilities who are suffering from addiction. To learn more about this effort, please visit clmhd.org.

The New York State Conference of Local Mental Hygiene Directors (the Conference) is a statewide membership organization that is statutorily incorporated under Article 41 of the state Mental Hygiene Law.  The Conference membership consists of the Commissioner/Director of each of the state’s 57 county mental hygiene departments (encompassing mental health, substance abuse and developmental disabilities) and the mental hygiene department of the City of New York.   The Conference is an affiliate of the New York State Association of Counties (NYSAC).

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Kelly A. Hansen, Executive Director:  New York State Conference of Local Mental Hygiene Directors
An Affiliate of the New York State Association of Counties
41 State St., Suite 505, Albany, NY 12207 (518) 462-9422 FAX (518) 465-2695 www.clmhd.org