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Supporting the Wellness and Recovery of People Receiving Medication Treatment at Baltimore County Detention Center: A Qualitative Study

Project Contact: Dr. Brook Kearley

Individuals in the criminal justice system are at increased risk of opioid overdose compared to the general population, with the greatest risk occurring immediately after release from jail or prison. Providing medication for opioid use disorder (MOUD) within correctional facilities has been shown to prevent overdose following release. However, difficulty accessing community-based MOUD is a barrier, which can disrupt treatment and elevate the risk of relapse and overdose. Additional investigation is needed to better understand the supportive needs of this population and improve the delivery of correctional- and reentry-based MOUD programs.     


This study seeks to understand the experiences of former participants and staff of a MOUD program implemented at the Baltimore County Detention Center (BCDC), which provides MOUD during incarceration and linkage to community-based MOUD and other supportive services post-release. We will conduct semi-structured interviews to coalesce the perspectives of BCDC MOUD former participants and program staff, including case managers and peer recovery specialists. Using reflexive thematic coding, we will develop themes around (1) participant experiences with treatment, community reentry, and general wellness; and (2) staff experiences with program implementation, job satisfaction, and general wellness.    


The timing of this study aligns with the rollout of Maryland House Bill 116, which requires all correctional facilities in Maryland to offer the full range of MOUD options by 2023. Thus, findings from this investigation can help inform the delivery of the BCDC MOUD program and the development and/or delivery of other corrections-based MOUD programs in Maryland.   

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