Medications for Opioid Use Disorder (MOUD) in Corrections

Over the past several years, the United States has been in the grip of an escalating overdose epidemic, with 67,367 drug overdose deaths occurring in 2018 alone.

Incarcerated individuals and persons recently released from jails and prisons are at an increased risk. A study conducted at the Washington State Department of Prisons found that formerly incarcerated individuals were more than 12 times more likely to die in the two weeks following release from prison, compared to the general population, mostly due to drug overdose.

The World Health Organization (WHO), National Institutes of Health (NIH), National Institute of Drug Abuse (NIDA), and others have endorsed the effectiveness of MOUD and have urged correctional systems to provide adults in custody with these evidence-based treatments1. However, researchers at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health found that less than five percent of justice-involved individuals in need of opioid treatment were given the option of medications for opioid use disorders (MOUD).

In response to the opioid epidemic and technical assistance requests from the field, the Opioid Response Network (ORN) hosted two national summits for federal and state correctional departments, county jails, and local municipalities interested in implementing MOUD.

The first, Medications for Opioid Use Disorders in Correctional Settings Shifting the Paradigm: Creating a Balanced Correctional and Rehabilitative Approach, was held in January of 2020. The summit highlighted the Rhode Island Department of Corrections’ model (one of the first to incorporate MOUD system-wide), as well as other evidence-based delivery models from correctional systems around the country. Please see the MOUD in Corrections Summit Report for details of the proceedings.

A year later in January of 2021, a second national convening was held: Medications for Opioid Use Disorder: Moving to Implementation built upon the 2020 summit. A full conference summary and resources will be forthcoming.

This page contains resources aimed to assist those looking to implement MOUD programs in correctional systems.

Day One: Tuesday January 28, 2020

Presentation Title
Gabrielle de la Guéronnière, JD
Sally Friedmann, JD
Recent Legal & Policy Developments and Implications
(One Joint Presentation)
Rachel Bray
Changed Outlook from the Corrections Perspective
Daryl McGraw
Lived Experience
Brandon George
Lived Experience
Ruth A. Potee, MD, FASAM
Medications for Opioid Use Disorders
Correctional Health in the U.S.
Peter D. Freidman, MD, MPH, FASAM, FACP
FDA Approved Medications for Opioid Use Disorder
Deb Pinals, MD
MAT or MOUD in Correctional Settings
Considerations for Implementation
Tom Lincoln, MD
Comprehensive OUD Treatment in Correctional Settings: Medications
Leslie Bridgman, MA, JD, LCDP
Carole Dwyer, MA
Lynne Corry, MA
Medications for Opioid Use Disorder in Correctional Settings: Diversion Workshop
(One Joint Presentation)
Ed Hayes
Linkages to Care Franklin County, MA Response to the Opioid Crisis A Program of Sheriff Christopher J. Donelan
Michael C. White, MCJ
Linkages to Care

Day Two: Wednesday January 29, 2020

Presentation Title
Linda Hurley, MA CAGS
Tara Flynn
Rachelle Steinberg, Esq.
Dustin Alvanas, MBA, MS, LCDP
Jennifer Clarke, MD, MPH, FACP
Richard Brathwaite, CCHP
Models of Delivery
Ross MacDonald, MD
MAT in CJ Settings: Foundations of Staff Buy-in
Barry Weiner, LCSW
It’s All About People
Tom Hill, MSW
Dan Schatz, MD, MS
Medications for Opioid Use Disorder in Correctional Settings
(One Joint Presentation)
Jennifer Clarke, MD, MPH, FACP
Leslie Bridgman ,MA, JD, LCDP
Operations: Identifying the Necessary Policies and Procedures and Potential Barriers to Operating a Medication Assisted Treatment Program within Corrections
(One Joint Presentation)
Barry Weiner, LCSW
Brent Gibson, MD
The Opioid Addiction Crisis and the Incarcerated Population

Day Three: Thursday January 30, 2020

Presentation Title
Mark W. Parrino, MPA
Settings Shifting the Paradigm: Creating a Balanced Correctional and Rehabilitative Approach
Tami Kampbell
Linda G. Barker
Rae Simpson, RN, MSN
Shannon Robinson
Organizational Change Implementation of MOUD/MAT in Correctional Settings: Washington State and California
(One Joint Presentation)

Featured Resources

Rhode Island Department of Corrections (RIDOC) MAT Program Videos

In a series of videos, leaders from the Rhode Island Department of Corrections (RIDOC), Brown University, and the Opioid Response Network (ORN) discuss the planning, execution, and success of Medications for Opioid Use Disorders (MOUD) in combating opioid addiction. Since 2015, Rhode Island’s MOUD program has helped reduce the overdose rate among individuals leaving the state’s correctional facilities by an overwhelming sixty-one percent.

Watch the full video, the short version, or individual chapters, listed below:

Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT) for Opioid Use Disorder in Jails and Prisons: A Planning and Implementation Toolkit


1UNODC/WHO. United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime/World Health Organization. HIV/AIDS Prevention Care, Treatment and Support in Prison Setting. A Framework for and Effective National Response. 2006 NIH (National Institutes of Health). (1997). Effective treatment of opiate addiction. 15 NIH Consensus Statement. November 17–19). NIDA. (2012a). Medication-assisted treatment for opioid addiction. Retrieved from
Boucher, R. (2002). Case for Methadone Maintenance Treatment in Prisons, The. Vt. L. Rev., 27, 453.