March 29, 2021

Senator Hassan Joins in Introducing Bipartisan Bill to Strengthen Treatment and Recovery Services for Incarcerated Individuals

An Estimated 50 Percent of Inmates at the NH Department of Corrections are Diagnosed with Opioid Use Disorder

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Maggie Hassan joined colleagues in introducing the bipartisan Residential Substance Use Disorder Treatment Act, which would expand access to important substance use disorder treatments in jails and prisons in New Hampshire and across the country, and help those exiting correctional facilities continue their treatment in the community. According to the most recent estimates in New Hampshire, more than 50 percent of inmates at New Hampshire Department of Corrections have been diagnosed with opioid use disorder.

 

“Substance use disorder impacts a significant number of incarcerated individuals in the Granite State and can be a major factor in whether or not someone who is previously convicted reoffends,” Senator Hassan said. “Expanding and strengthening treatment and recovery services for inmates in jails and prisons, as well as for individuals who are recently released, is an important way to help stem the tide of the substance use disorder crisis and prevent recidivism. I urge my colleagues to join us in supporting this important bipartisan legislation.”

 

The Senators’ bipartisan bill improves the Residential Substance Abuse Treatment (RSAT) for State Prisoners Program, which aims to break the cycle of substance use disorder for those in state, local, and tribal correctional facilities. The program provides residential substance abuse treatment for people in jails and prisons; prepares them for reintegration into their community by incorporating reentry planning activities into treatment programs; and assists individuals and their communities through the reentry process by delivering community-based treatment and other services.

 

The bipartisan Residential Substance Use Disorder Treatment Act would update RSAT to:

 

  • Expand options for treating substance use disorders by explicitly allowing programs to adopt and use approved medication-assisted treatment;
  • Require program staff to be trained on the science of addiction, strategies for continuity of care during and after incarceration, and evidence-based behavioral therapies used to treat substance use disorder;
  • Ensure that programs are affiliated with providers who can administer medications for addiction treatment after incarceration, ensuring continuity of care and reducing the risk of relapse and overdose; and
  • Allow grantees to use RSAT funds to offer treatment to individuals during short periods of incarceration.

  

Senator Hassan is focused on expanding treatment and recovery services for Granite Staters, including for incarcerated individuals. Recently, Senator Hassan and the rest of the NH Congressional Delegation announced that New Hampshire will receive $9,443,931 in federal grants under the year-end government funding and COVID-19 relief bill that Congress passed and was signed into law in December to help combat the substance use disorder epidemic and bolster access to mental health services during the COVID-19 pandemic.

 

###