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The Building Bridges Initiative

Individuals with opioid use disorder (OUD) pass through jails each year, placing correctional facilities at the epicenter of the opioid crisis. Few jails offer the U.S. Food and Drug Administration-approved medications—buprenorphine, methadone, and naltrexone—that have consistently been shown to be the most effective forms of treatment for OUD when combined with behavioral therapies.

Ten communities are participating in the second Building Bridges demonstration project. The project began with a 9-month planning process, funded by the Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA), to assist these teams in implementing medication-assisted treatment in their jails and enhancing collaboration between jails and community-based treatment providers. After the planning process, each community has received funding and support from BJA to support projects that increase the capacity of local communities to collaborate across the areas of public safety, behavioral health, and public health. Communities receive coaching and technical assistance from subject-matter experts as part of the project with the aim to develop a comprehensive continuum-of-care model that targets the jail population and builds bridges between in-custody and community-based treatment and supervision, including probation, parole, and court-based programs.

Reducing overdose deaths and recidivism by establishing effective, comprehensive in-custody treatment and maintaining continuity of services from jail to community-based supervision.