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Type of submission: Oral
Conference track: Practice
Topics: Overdose Prevention and Management; Prisons and Detention
Presenting author: Sharon Stancliff
No biography entered.
Sharon Stancliff, Valerie White, Anthony Annucci, Dennis Breslin
Issue- Formerly incarcerated people are at high risk of overdose in the weeks following release from prison.
Setting – New York State Department of Corrections and Community Supervision (DOCCS) operates 54 prisons in the state; 22,000 inmates are released each year. New York State Department of Health provides naloxone kits at no cost to a wide variety of agencies to be distributed to people at risk of experiencing or witnessing an opioid overdose.
Project- Harm Reduction Coalition (HRC) is collaborating with NYSDOH, and DOCCS to provide training and kits to soon-to-be released inmates. HRC initiates the program at each facility by training first staff and then inmates using a harm reduction oriented video as the core of the training, Staying Alive on the Outside- NYS . Correctional officers and/or counseling staff are then trained to take over training soon-to-be released inmates. Kits containing naloxone to be used intranasally are offered as inmates are released. The project is planned to expand all facilities from which inmates are directly released as well as to people currently on parole as well as to visitors at prisons.
Outcomes - Between February 2015 and October 2016 10 DOCCS facilities are training inmates, including 3 facilities in which all inmates are drug involved and more facilities are being included. Over 5,900 incarcerated individuals have been trained, with over 2,800 taking kits upon release. Three trainees have reported using kits; the numbers are likely to be much higher as there is fear of admitting to being near drug use while on parole. Prison staff has been very supportive of the program, perhaps because of high overdose rates in their own communities. Inmates receive the message that their lives are important and that, as returning citizens, they can save lives.