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AG Brnovich Announces $4.5 Million Grant to Treat Opioid Addiction & Mental Health in the Criminal Justice System

By on July 22, 2022 0 36Views

Attorney General Mark Brnovich announced Thursday the Arizona Attorney General’s Office (AGO) has awarded $4,500,000 in grant funding to Mohave, Coconino, and Yavapai counties to help eliminate opioid addiction for people in the criminal justice system.

“Our primary goal with these grants is to increase inmate screening and treatment for underlying substance abuse and mental health conditions,” said General Brnovich. “Effectively addressing opioid disorders will ultimately reduce recidivism rates among treated offenders.”

Nearly 9,000 people are expected to be treated through the use of AGO grant money.  The funds come as a result of the AGO’s February 2021 consumer fraud settlement with McKinsey & Company, which resolved investigations into the company’s role in fueling the opioid crisis.

The award grant amounts and recipients are as follows:

  • Yavapai County – $1,000,000
  • Mohave County – $1,000,000
  • Coconino County – $2,501,813

The Yavapai County Sheriff’s Office (YCSO) will use the funding to support its Reach Out Program, helping people in jail suffering from opioid substance use disorders. It will also go toward a remodel of the detention center to create the Inmate Programs Unit, which would offer programs such as 12-step and GED attainment to help those with opioid substance abuse disorder recover and transition successfully into the community. YCSO expects the grant to help approximately 1,725 people over the grant cycle.

“On behalf of the citizens of Yavapai County, I want to thank Attorney General Brnovich for this grant to extend our Reach Out jail diversion and re-entry program,” said Yavapai County Sheriff David Rhodes.  “I am a long-standing supporter of the integration of behavioral health and substance abuse assistance within the criminal justice system, and I know this grant will serve that goal well.”

The Mohave County Sheriff’s Office (MCSO) will use the majority of the $1,000,000 in AGO grant funding for architectural evaluations and pre-construction plans for its new re-entry program building.  The new building will be constructed on existing detention property. The program uses re-entry coordinators to screen individuals booked into MCADF for mental health issues and substance abuse. Judges often use this information to determine conditions of release, bonding amounts, and other special conditions. MCSO will help an estimated 3,200 people over the cycle of the AGO grant funding.

“We are very pleased to have received this funding from the Office of the Attorney General,” said Mohave County Sheriff Doug Schuster.  “We are currently in the process of establishing a re-entry program here in Mohave County.  After taking responsibility for their criminal actions, it is our hope that we can assist these individuals in becoming lawful, productive members of our communities.”

Coconino County Sheriff’s Office (CCSO) will utilize $2,501,813 in AGO grant funding to help establish the Pathways to Community re-entry program. Inmates released from jail will receive risk assessments, and those needing immediate help will be connected to social services based on risk and clinical needs. The AGO grant money will also be used to remodel an existing building that will launch the re-entry resource center.

“On behalf of the Coconino County Sheriff’s Office, I wish to thank the Arizona Attorney General’s Office for the financial support of our new Pathways to Community Program,” said Coconino County Sheriff Jim Driscoll.  “This collaboration with our local partners provides resources to those individuals leaving jail for successful re-entry into our communities.”