Massachusetts Justice Community Opioid Innovation Network (MassJCOIN)
A major driver of the U.S. opioid crisis is limited access to effective medications for opioid use disorder (MOUD) that reduce overdose risks. Traditionally, jails and prisons in the U.S. have not initiated or maintained MOUD for incarcerated individuals with OUD prior to their return to the community, which places them at high risk for fatal overdose. A 2018 law (Chapter 208) made Massachusetts (MA) the first state to mandate that five county jails deliver all FDA-approved MOUDs (naltrexone [NTX], buprenorphine [BUP], and methadone). Chapter 208 established a 4-year pilot program to expand access to all FDA-approved forms of MOUD at five jails, with two more MA jails voluntarily joining this initiative. The law stipulates that MOUD be continued for individuals receiving it prior to detention and be initiated prior to release among sentenced individuals where appropriate. The jails must also facilitate continuation of MOUD in the community on release. The Massachusetts Justice Community Opioid Innovation Network (MassJCOIN) partnered with these seven diverse jails, the MA Department of Public Health, and community treatment providers to conduct a Type 1 hybrid effectiveness-implementation study of Chapter 208. We will: (1) Perform a longitudinal treatment outcome study among incarcerated individuals with OUD who receive NTX, BUP, methadone, or no MOUD in jail to examine postrelease MOUD initiation, engagement, and retention, as well as fatal and nonfatal opioid overdose and recidivism; (2) Conduct an implementation study to understand systemic and contextual factors that facilitate and impede delivery of MOUDs in jail and community care coordination, and strategies that optimize MOUD delivery in jail and for coordinating care with community partners; (3) Calculate the cost to the correctional system of implementing MOUD in jail, and conduct an economic evaluation from state policy-maker and societal perspectives to compare the value of MOUD prior to release from jail to no MOUD among matched controls. MassJCOIN made significant progress during its first six months until the COVID-19 pandemic began in March 2020. Participating jail sites restricted access for nonessential personnel, established other COVID-19 mitigation policies, and modified MOUD programming. MassJCOIN adapted research activities to this new reality in an effort to document and account for the impacts of COVID-19 in relation to each aim. The goal remains to produce findings with direct implications for policy and practice for OUD in criminal justice settings.
Keywords: Buprenorphine; Criminal justice settings; MOUD; Massachusetts Justice Community Opioid Innovation Network (MassJCOIN); Medications for opioid use disorder; Methadone; Naltrexone; Opioid use disorder; Research protocol.
Evans EA, Stopka TJ, Pivovarova E, Murphy SM, Taxman FS, Ferguson WJ, Bernson D, Santelices C, McCollister KE, Hoskinson R Jr, Lincoln T, Friedmann PD; MassJCOIN Research Group. Massachusetts Justice Community Opioid Innovation Network (MassJCOIN). J Subst Abuse Treat. 2021 Jan 8:108275. doi: 10.1016/j.jsat.2021.108275. Epub ahead of print.