Albany County’s jail gets $200K for treatment for substance abuse

Albany County’s jail is one of 17 county jails in New York State that will receive funds for treating substance use disorder and for transition services, according to a release from the Heroin Task Force, which advocated for, and secured, $3.75 million in the 2018-19 state budget.

Based on its average daily population of more than 250, Albany county’s jail will receive $200,000 in funding.

County jails that offer treatment services have seen benefits, including decreased recidivism rates and cost savings. In Albany County, the Sheriff’s Heroin Addiction Recovery Program, known as SHARP, has reduced re-incarceration by 28 percent for those who participated in the treatment program, the release said.

Kelly A. Hansen, executive director of the New York State Conference of Local Mental Hygiene Directors, said in the release, “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 [substance use disorder] services … 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.”

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