ALBANY, 06/19/18 - State Senator James L. Seward (R/C/I/Ref – Oneonta) today joined his senate colleagues to announce funding for 17 county jails throughout New York State for substance use disorder treatment and transition services. In total, $3.75 million is being distributed to programs statewide including $156,000 for Tompkins County Jail.
“Heroin and opioid addiction devastates lives, families, and communities and it is vital that we continue to target this epidemic from all angles – prevention, treatment, and recovery,” said Senator Seward. “Jail-based treatment programs are a key part of the equation and have the ability to help break the stranglehold these drugs have on individuals so they will be ready to lead healthy lives after they have paid their debt to society. This state funding will help rebuild individual lives and lead to safer communities.”
Senator Seward has served on the Joint Senate Task Force on Heroin and Opioid Addiction since its inception in 2014. He has authored legislation to help combat the heroin epidemic, meets regularly with community groups, and has hosted three task force forums in the 51st Senate District to solicit input from local health care professionals, addiction experts, law enforcement officials, and concerned citizens.
Kelly A. Hansen, Executive Director of the NYS Conference of Local Mental Hygiene Directors, stated, “The County Mental Health Commissioners knew that providing addiction treatment during incarceration could reduce recidivism, save taxpayer dollars and most importantly, save lives. That is why the Conference of Local Mental Hygiene Directors commissioned the study which provides the data that confirmed our assumptions and quantified the benefits of jail-based SUD services. The Conference is grateful for the support from the Senate and Executive, as counties will be able to develop or expand SUD treatment and transition services prior to re-entry. This funding will not only help to reduce recidivism and improve public safety - most importantly, it will allow individuals struggling with addiction find lasting recovery.”
Stephen J. Acquario, NYSAC Executive Director said, “We applaud the State Senate and the Opioid Task Force for making substance use disorder treatments in local jails a priority in the State Budget and Legislative Session. The scourge of opioid addiction and abuse impacts counties in many different ways, including public safety, the criminal justice system, mental health, first responders, and our coroners. This funding for substance use disorder treatment (SUD) services is one more tool that can help protect lives, reduce crime, and save taxpayer money. This modest investment will increase opportunities for recovery to a critical population struggling with addiction.”
Alex Wilson, Associate Counsel for the New York State Sheriffs’ Association, said, “The New York State Sheriffs’ Association is proud to be a partner with the Senate in the fight against opioids. While all Sheriffs strive to do as much as possible to help individuals in their custody who are battling addiction - including offering comprehensive addiction treatment and transition services - they are often constrained by limited budgets and scarcity of appropriate mental healthcare providers and substance abuse counselors. This funding will create the opportunity for Sheriffs to intervene in a profoundly positive way in these individuals lives. It is our hope that this is the first step towards a more comprehensive program in which all Sheriffs and Counties can take part.”
The following county jails, with an average daily population (ADP) of more than 250, will receive $400,000 in funding: Broome, Erie, Niagara, and Schenectady Counties.
The following county jails, with an average daily population (ADP) of more than 250, will receive $200,000 in funding: Albany, Suffolk, Nassau, Monroe and Oneida Counties.
The following county jails, with an average daily population (ADP) of less than 250, will receive $156,000 in funding: Clinton, Jefferson, Putnam, Ontario, Columbia, Tioga, and Tompkins Counties.
In addition, Wayne County will receive $58,000 in funding.