Broome County Sheriff Dave Harder, joined by New York State Senator Fred Akshar and Broome County Executive Jason Garnar, announced the Broome County Jail will introduce a jail-based substance use disorder treatment and services for inmates suffering from addictions.

Funded through the 2018-19 State Budget, the $400,000 program will expand the services of the jail by allowing the use of Suboxone and other medications, based on individual assessments.

According to Sheriff Harder, roughly 40% of those in the County Jail suffer from substance abuse. He said he hopes to cut this number in half by bringing in primary medical care, overseen by OASAS, and develop a longer-term plan by getting people the help they need before leaving the jail site.

"When [inmates] leave our facility there's a follow-up program. The medical staff will decide what works for them," said Sheriff Harder.

The new program for Broome is one of 17 being implemented across New York State. Senator Fred Akshar said the implementations of medically assisted healthcare in correctional facilities has decreased re-incarceration and cost savings by 28% for those who participated in the treatment program.

"The goal of the community is to get these folks on the road to recovery as quickly as possible. And once they're on that road, we want them to stay there. This is a step forward in that direction," said Senator Akshar.

Before this new treatment service, Sheriff Harder said inmates received counseling and services through volunteers, but no steps were planned after release. "Once [inmates] leave the facility, things start to fall apart," he said. "And that's where we need this follow-up program."

Currently, the Broome County Sheriff's Office is seeking responses from OASAS-certified health care providers to begin implementing the medically assisted detox initiative. And primaries who are chosen must provide a plan for inmates to continue treatment on a long-term plan.