Mark Brnovich Announces $4.5 Million in Funding for Treating Opioid Addiction and Mental Health in the Criminal Justice System

Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich (R) announced Thursday that the Arizona Attorney General’s Office (AGO) had awarded $4,500,000 in grant funding to three counties across Arizona to help treat those with opioid addiction or mental health issues 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,” Brnovich said in a press release. “Effectively addressing opioid disorders will ultimately reduce recidivism rates among treated offenders.”

The AGO reports that the funds come from a previous settlement between a coalition of 48 states plus five U.S. territories and consulting giant McKinsey & Company. The settlement resolved investigations into the company’s role in working with, promoting, and profiting from opioid companies during the current opioid epidemic.

The three counties receiving the grant money include Yavapai, Mohave, and Coconino. The AGO specifies that Yavapai and Mohave counties will receive $1 million each once the money is split, and Coconino will get $2.5 million.

All three counties revealed their plans to use the money to help criminals struggling with opioid addiction. Yavapai Country will use the funds to remodel the detention center to create the Inmate Programs Unit, which will offer inmates GED attainment and addiction recovery programs meant to help them transition back into the community.

“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,” said Yavapai County Sheriff David Rhodes.

Mohave County plans to use its million-dollar share for pre-construction planning for its re-entry program building. The building will be constructed on detention property where re-entry coordinators will screen criminals booked for substance abuse and mental health issues so judges can determine re-entry conditions.

Furthermore, Coconino will establish a Pathways to Community re-entry program and remodel a building to house the re-entry service center with its grant money. The program will connect released criminals with social services based on clinical needs.

The AGO estimated that roughly 9,000 inmates would be treated through these new programs.

According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), almost two-thirds of people incarcerated in the U.S. struggle with a substance abuse disorder, but there may be a way to treat these disorders. In a study by NIH’s National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), men in a rural jail received opioid addiction treatment medicine. They found these men were less likely to be rearrested compared to other men in a similar jail who did not receive the medication.

The Arizona Sun Times reported that Brnovich and other states previously reached a multi-state settlement with pharmaceutical giants Cardinal Health, McKesson, AmerisourceBergen, and Johnson & Johnson. Arizona will receive $540 million over the next 18 years towards an agreement that spreads funds for opioid abatement and treatment across the state.

– – –

Neil Jones is a reporter for The Arizona Sun Times and The Star News Network. Follow Neil on Twitter. Email tips to [email protected].
Photo “Mark Brnovich” by Mark Brnovich. Background Photo “Depressed Girl” by U3143168. CC BY-SA 4.0.


Related posts

One Thought to “Mark Brnovich Announces $4.5 Million in Funding for Treating Opioid Addiction and Mental Health in the Criminal Justice System”

  1. Marcelino Paul Rios

    Let’s end discriminative jobs and treat others with dignity and respect … Thanks Mark Paul Rios