Visit sponsored by U.S. Dept. of Justice’s Bureau of Justice Assistance
BILLERICA, Mass. – Officials from Ohio, Virginia and Washington State recently traveled to Massachusetts for a Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA)–sponsored peer exchange to learn about the nationally recognized Medication Assisted Treatment And Directed Opioid Recovery (MATADOR) program of the Middlesex Sheriff’s Office (MSO). MATADOR is a voluntary program for those with opioid use disorders returning to the community following a period of incarceration. MATADOR, which uses an injectable form of naltrexone, is a multifaceted program that combines enrollment in health insurance with navigation services and critical casework follow-up. Since October 2015, 398 individuals have participated in the program, and as of September over 95% have not succumbed to a fatal overdose since their release.
“I want to thank the BJA for facilitating this important peer-to-peer exchange. As agencies across the country seek to change the trajectory of the opioid epidemic, these peer exchanges help us to develop best practices and programs that can be tailored to fit the needs and resources of individual jurisdictions,” said Middlesex Sheriff Peter J. Koutoujian. “While this was an opportunity for colleagues to learn about MATADOR, we are constantly evaluating ways to make all our initiatives stronger, and these discussions help us accomplish that.”
In addition to meeting with MSO staff and touring the Middlesex Jail & House of Correction, officials toured and met with staff from Lowell House’s Men’s Recovery Home and Lowell Community Health Care Center to see firsthand some of the post-release community supports available to MATADOR participants.
Designated as a Center of Innovation for MATADOR by the National Institute of Corrections (NIC), MSO has shared its work with jurisdictions across the country.