Ciresi announces $149K grant to combat opioid crisis among Montco inmate and parolee population

HARRISBURG, Sept. 8 – State Rep. Joe Ciresi, D-Montgomery, announced today that the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency approved Montgomery County’s request for $149,875 in federal State Opioid Response Grant funds to provide Medication Assisted Treatment for the inmate population to combat the opioid crisis.

The grant funds will be used to enhance the current MAT program through continuation of medication for inmates with a valid prescription; induction on medication for inmates without a valid prescription; Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) for participants of the MAT program; education about the MAT program; aftercare services and connections to community providers; and increased collaboration between county agencies, including Adult Probation/Parole, the courts, and community-based partners. Funds will support supplies and operating expenses and consultants for MAT and CBT.

“This funding will help our inmate population suffering from the opioid crisis that plagues the prison system and provide continuation of treatment, so our parolees get a drug-free lease on life,” Ciresi said. “True rehabilitation cannot happen if someone is addicted to narcotics and a parolee’s ‘fresh start’ will be severely handicapped by a relapse. This federal funding will provide a lifeline to our inmate population both inside and outside the prison system.”

Further, more than $22.3 million was awarded to several organizations across the state that are dedicated to breaking cycles of violence and substance abuse in their communities.

In addition to grants for local programs, the PCCD awarded Penn State University $100,000 to enhance its statewide Pennsylvania Youth Survey, or PAYS, which surveys students in the 6th, 8th, 10th and 12th grades to learn about their behaviors, attitudes and knowledge about alcohol, tobacco, other drugs and violence; $900,000 to the Commonwealth Prevention Alliance for its statewide efforts to provide drug and alcohol professionals free materials about opioid addiction to distribute in in their communities; $640,000 to the Council of State Governments Justice Center for its Pennsylvania Stepping up Technical Assistance Center, part of a national initiative to reduce the number of people with mental illnesses in prisons; and $632,135 to the Pennsylvania Coalition Against Rape for its Sexual Assault Services Program.

More information about the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency is available here.